Counsel thy self

I can’t remember if I have mentioned that I am currently studying a ‘self study’ counselling course.  I know, as if I’m not spinning enough plates; with a full time job, writing a book etc.  Anyway I am struggling with one of the aspects, so I thought I’d get my thoughts down here and maybe some of you can help, if you fancy posting a comment.

As individuals we have two components; ‘self structure’ and ‘experience’.

‘Self structure’, as far as I understand it, is who someone considers themselves to be, from their beliefs and values.  These are likely to have been learned during upbringing; what they have been taught as a child is right and wrong.  In our desperation to be part of a group we accept these values unquestioningly, with the implication being ‘you will not be one of us unless you accept our world view’.

However our own ‘experience’ might tell us something different.  For example the first time a child places its hands in dirt it may experience it as an oozy, cool, delightfulness!  However the adult will change the child’s own ‘experience’ of delight with the view of ‘disgust’ and ‘disapproval’.

So the first time a transgender child expresses itself as a gender other than that which its sex represents; i.e. a boy dresses as a girl, (his) ‘experience’ might be of satisfaction, comfort, enjoyment etc.  At the point where the adult ‘corrects’ the child, the child replaces its own natural ‘experience’ with that of ‘self-structure’ – “when I dress as a girl I upset mummy and daddy, so it must be wrong”.

This raised the question in my mind; does gender dysphoria only exist as condition because societal/cultural/parental influences created it, by altering the child’s own natural ‘self-experience’?

This follows the child into adulthood with the ‘self-structure’ belief that if they ‘come out’ as trans, it will be disastrous.  For many years, like several other hundreds of trans people, Princess built this up to be the ‘reality’ of what it would be like to come out.  However the reality has been positive and so she has reverted her values to that of what is her ‘self experience’.

Are you letting others hold you back from coming out because you are under the influence of their ‘self structure’? Its food for thought isn’t it?

Anyway if you are up for being a guinea pig for me practicing my counselling, and feel the need for getting things off your chest, let me know.

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1 Response to Counsel thy self

  1. alexkingsley says:

    I can answer an unequivocal, “Yes!” to your question about being held back.

    For me, nothing less than divorce would enable me to go back to listening to self-evidence. I’m now with a counsellor who has referred me to a GIC and I have changed my name by deed poll.

    For me, making those decisions has lifted a crushing depression. All I can say is it’s easier than you think to listen to your inner voice, and I believe many trans people would be a lot happier if they did.

    And funnily enough, two nurses out on the town last night came up to me and two of my trans friends and encouraged us to be who we are – of course, we’ve all been there, done that, and got the t-shirt, but the sentiment was nice.

    Good luck with your self-study.

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