The Official Publication of the
International Society of Schema Therapy
In This Issue
In this April issue - Schema Therapy with Marginalized Populations
Dresses, Spiderman, and Gender Dysphoria: A Gender-Affirming Schema Therapy Approach
Anatomy is Not Identity
Given the high levels of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination that transgender individuals experience, known as minority stress, it is expected that maladaptive schemas among transgender and gender diverse individuals are elevated compared to the general population. While no large studies have examined these hypotheses, there are small observational studies from multiple countries that provide evidence for this hypothesis. For example, a study published in 2011 comparing transgender and cisgender individuals living in the county of Hungary suggested that transgender individuals had higher endorsement of emotional deprivation, defectiveness/shame, social isolation/alienation, vulnerability to harm/illness, self-sacrifice, and approval/recognition seeking. In addition, there is data that suggest difference among maladaptive schemas between transgender women and men. A study published in 2013 found that when examining 15 schemas between transgender women and men living in the country of Iran, transgender women reported significantly higher endorsement of maladaptive schemas in the disconnection and rejection domain.
During a therapy session that focused on the role of culture and rituals and the expectations that come with them, Adam and I engaged in imagery rescripting. The emotional trigger as an adult was seeing pictures from his friend’s Facebook post about his family being at a party and recalling that he was not there with them because of the way he expressed his gender.
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