We are an international group of psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, researchers, and psychoanalysts that have a special interest in the treatment of GD in children, adolescents, and young people. Many of us have come to be concerned about the sharply rising numbers of young people presenting with gender dysphoria, and the current trend to affirm them and in many cases move toward social and medical intervention. We wish to discuss the evidence for this rise in trans identified referrals and explore the evidence that social contagion may be at play, particular for those young people presenting with rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) in adolescence.

AUSTRALIA

Roberto D’Angelo, Psy.D. FRANZCP, M.Med.(Psychotherapy), M.B.B.S.

Roberto D’Angelo is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Sydney, Australia. He is a member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, where he is a training and supervising analyst. He works with teen and adult trans-identifying people and their families. He has submitted papers on the limitations of gender-reassignment outcome research, and on psychotherapeutic work with a person who subsequently came to regret their transition.

Dianna Kenny, PhD, MAPsS, MAPA

Dianna Kenny is Professor of Psychology, The University of Sydney. Her cognate disciplines are developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology. She is also a practicing psychologist, psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, nationally accredited mediator, and family dispute resolution practitioner. She is the author of eight books, including books on infant and child development and child sexual abuse (see here), 200 journal articles and 40 book chapters (see her researchgate page). She consults to police and the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions (NSW Australia) on child sexual abuse, and to the Health Care Complaints Commission on malpractice, including sexual boundary violations. Applying a lifespan developmental perspective, she is currently exploring the implications for long term development of the social transition of very young children deemed to be gender dysphoric.

Find her on Twitter @dianna_kenny

Tania Marshall, M.Sc. (App, Psych.)

Tania Marshall is a Canadian trained psychologist in private practice on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She completed an 18 month fulltime post-Masters externship at a special needs private school for ages K-12, in addition to private practice, both under the supervision of a Clinical Psychologist. She is the author of the Gold medal winning books, ‘I Am AspienGirl: The Unique Characteristics, Traits and Gifts of Females on the Autism Spectrum’, Foreword by Judith Gould, and ‘I Am AspienWoman: The Unique Characteristics, Traits and Gifts of Adult Females on the Autism Spectrum’, Foreword by Dr. Shana Nichols. Tania is also a 3-time ASPECT Autism Australia Nationally Recognized Nominee for her work advancing the field of female Autism. She works with gifted and talented neurodiverse individuals who are out-of-the-box thinkers. She has seen an exponential rise in the number of young teens with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria at her clinic, many of whom are Autistic.

Find her on Twitter @taniaamarshall

CANADA

Oren Amitay, PhD

Doc Amitay works with a diverse group of clients, ranging from late teens to seniors, one-on-one, in couples or families, covering every theme imaginable, including issues related to school, work, relationships, family, sexuality, finances, major life transitions, depression, and anxiety, to name a few. He tries to help clients realize that life is actually easier when you find the insight, strength and courage to see reality for what it really is, not what you want it to be. He has conducted approximately 450 Parenting Capacity Assessments for various Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario since 2001. His professional experiences and expertise have led to his being declared an expert witness in Ontario courts with respect to Psychological/Parenting Capacity Assessments since 2009.

Find him on Twitter @docamitay

Ray Blanchard, MD

Ray Blanchard received his A.B. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1973. He then took up a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he remained until 1976. In 1976 he accepted a position as a clinical psychologist at the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton, Ontario. Blanchard joined the Gender Identity Clinic for adults at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; CAMH) in 1980. In 1995 he became the Head of CAMH’s Clinical Sexology Services and remained there until his retirement in 2010.

Find him on Twitter @BlanchardPhD

Susan Bradley, MD, FRCP(C)

Child Psychiatrist, founder of the Toronto Gender Identity Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 1975 (now closed). Previously Chief of Psychiatry at Hospital for Sick Children and Head of the Division of Child Psychiatry at University of Toronto, co-author with KJ Zucker of Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Youth, 1995, author of Affect Regulation and the Development of Psychopathology, 2000, currently consultant psychiatrist to Children’s Mental Health Agencies outside of Toronto.

James Cantor, PhD

The Director and Founder of the Toronto Sexuality Centre, Dr. James Cantor, has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and professional works spanning hypersexuality/sex addiction, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual offending, and atypical sexual interests. His MRI research on the causes pedophilia was featured in the CBC documentary, “I, Pedophile.”  Dr. Cantor is Associate Professor on the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, and past Editor-in-Chief of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, the official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. He completed his PhD in clinical psychology from McGill, and his own training in sex and couples’ therapy began at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal and continued at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Find him on Twitter @JamesCantorPhD

Debrah Soh, PhD

Debra W. Soh holds a PhD in sexual neuroscience research from York University. She writes frequently about issues related to gender dysphoria in children, including desistance and rapid-onset gender dysphoria. She is a columnist for Playboy.com and the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. Her writing has also appeared in Harper’s, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles TimesScientific AmericanQuillette, and many others. She has received media coverage in outlets including the New York Times, the BBC, the Washington PostNPRNational Review, and USA Today. 

She tweets all of her work @DrDebraSoh

Kenneth Zucker, PhD

Ken Zucker holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, is a Certified Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. You can find links to his extensive research here, and find him on Linkedin.

Find him on Twitter: @ZUCKERKJ

United Kingdom

James Caspian

James Caspian is a psychotherapist registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. He is a Trustee of the Beaumont Trust, and for ten years specialized in working with patients undergoing, or considering undergoing, medical gender transition. In 2015 he commenced a research project into people who reversed gender transition, which the university later prevented from going ahead. See his crowdfunding appeal for more info.

Find him on Twitter @jamesfreespeech

Alessandra Cavalli PhD

Alessandra Cavalli is a child and an adult analyst in private practice, and is a training and supervising analyst at the Society of Analytical Psychology.  She  has supervised therapeutic work with children in care in Mexico (Juconi) since 2008, and has a team of 8 child psychotherapists in London who work with her on the project and travel regularly to Mexico.  In  2013 she started a training course in child psychotherapy in Moscow with a group of Jungian and non Jungian child psychotherapists from London. She has published extensively in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and is co editor with Lucinda Hawkins and Martha Stevns of the book “Transformation”, published by Karnac in 2013. She can be reached at alessandra.cavalli@btinternet.com

Robert Withers, MPhil, Bac, RS

Robert Withers is a Jungian analyst, psychotherapist and supervisor at the Rock Clinic in Brighton England; which he co-founded. He is also senior lecturer in mind-body medicine at the inter-university college Graz. He has worked with a number of trans identifying people in various stages of transition and de-transition. He has a special interest in the psychology of gender dysphoria and has published several articles and lectured widely on the subject. His 2015 article “The Seventh Penis; Towards Effective Psychoanalytic Work with Pre-surgical Transsexuals” in the Journal of Analytical Psychology jointly won the Michael Fordham prize. Other publications on the subject to date include “The View from the Consulting Room” in the book Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body and a “Clinical Commentary by Robert Withers” in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy January 2018.

Find him at Twitter @BobWithers42

United States

Sasha Ayad, M.Ed., LPC

Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works with teens and young adults struggling with gender issues. Sasha uses an exploration-based approach which aims to discover underlying issues and help her clients work towards self-awareness, resilience, and long-term well-being. She also conducts occasional consultations for parents of teens with Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. 

 

Find her on Twitter @SashaLPC

J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D.

Michael Bailey is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. He studies sexual orientation and related traits such as gender nonconformity and gender dysphoria. His book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, provides an accurate and accessible account of male-to-female transsexualism (in its third section), an account that some transgender activists attempted to suppress because they preferred that it not be widely known.

Find him on Twitter @profjmb

Michael. K Laidlaw, MD 

Michael Laidlaw is a physician board certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Internal Medicine. Research interests have included circadian rhythms, magnesium and bone disorders, thyroid carcinoma, type 2 diabetes education, weight loss and food addiction.  He has been active in private practice for 12 years. Most recently he has been involved in education regarding male and female sex hormones and development including critically examining childhood gender dysphoria diagnosis and treatment from the perspective of an endocrinologist. You can read more here, and see his testimony to the California Senate regarding foster children and gender affirmative care here. 

Find him on Twitter @MLaidlawMD

Lisa Marchiano, LCSW

Lisa Marchiano is a clinical social worker and certified Jungian analyst in private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She has been consulting with parents of trans identifying teens since 2016. Her writings have appeared in Quillette and Areo. She is the author of “Outbreak: On Transgender Teens and Psychic Epidemics” which appeared in the journal Psychological Perspectives. She has also contributed a chapter to the book Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body, published in 2018 by Cambridge Scholars.

Find her on Twitter @LisaMarchiano

Michelle Peixinho, MSW, LM, IMH-E

Michelle Peixinho is a newly practicing Social Worker. Her background is in midwifery with a clinical specialty in infant mental health. She is completing a post-graduate clinical internship in Dialectial Behavioral Therapy and currently works at her County’s health and human services department working with individuals living with opiate use disorder.

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