Working with Transgender Adolescents: Essential Guidelines and Applications
Background: There has been a rise in the numbers of adolescents identifying as transgender and seeking medical treatment for gender dysphoria. While gender clinics are developing across the country, not all transgender adolescents have access to these centers. There is, therefore, an increased need for other clinicians to be aware of interventions and guidelines to help transgender youth and their families. Objective: The aim of this article is to provide an overview of current literature and guidelines for treating transgender adolescents with gender dysphoria. Methods: Using keywords "gender", "gender dysphoria", "transgender", "trans*", "adolescent trans*", the authors searched PubMed to gather current literature on treating transgender adolescents. Additionally, sources from primary transgender resources online were obtained, including current endocrine and psychological guidelines. Results: This article discusses important gender concepts that are relevant to treating all transgender individuals. It describes models of engagement with transgender adolescents seeking treatment, including assenting and consenting to medical intervention. Finally, we discuss the assessment of transgender adolescents"™ needs and present an overview of the various guidelines outlining both non-medical and medical interventions targeted to treat gender dysphoria in this population. Conclusion: Knowledge of treating adolescents with gender dysphoria is imperative as gender dysphoria presents more commonly in practice. Multidisciplinary collaboration is required to provide comprehensive treatment to this population. Guidelines from professional organizations such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the Endocrine Society provide instructions for clinical practice while the evidence base in this field continues to expand.