It provides an overview of the field, including history, etiology, diagnosis, research, and treatment of these conditions, primarily transsexualism, where a person feels trapped in the wrong-sexed body.
These conditions are biologically based and have existed throughout history and in all cultures. Only recently, however, have hormonal and surgical treatments to change one's gender been available. For people seeking such sex reassignment, counseling is mandated by the Standards of Care followed by surgeons, endocrinologists, and other professionals involved in treating transgendered individuals.
Transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant clients are frequently misunderstood and, therefore, inappropriately treated by clinicians. The condition is often inaccurately diagnosed as a sexual identity issue, further obscuring effective interventions. Furthermore, the options of recommending hormonal and surgical treatments often cast the therapist in the unfortunate position of gatekeeper.
To this confusing and emotionally charged topic, Randi Ettner brings a deeply humane and thoroughly authoritative voice. She shares stories from her clinical practice, letting readers hear the struggles and turmoil of gender-variant individuals. She provides both an overview of gender identity disorders and practical advice on counseling. Gender Loving Care is the first book to combine theory and application to assist professionals counseling the transgendered.