Counseling the Transsexual: Five Conversations with Professionals in Transsexual Therapy

Counseling the Transsexual: Five Conversations with Professionals in Transsexual Therapy

Baton Rouge: Erickson Educational Foundation, 1973. Offset in red wraps. 5 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄2 in. Saddle stapled. 35 pp. Holograph to front cover; otherwise, near fine. Item #5804

A rare document of early research into the psychoanalytic needs of transsexuals, this pamphlet consists of interviews with five psychiatric workers who wanted to increase the coverage and representation of transsexuals in media and daily life.

These professionals believed that transsexuals have the right to access healthcare, specifically therapy, tailored to their needs to best help them. The goal of this pamphlet, in other words, was to educate psychiatric professionals on how to best treat transsexual patients - a service and conversation still being debated today. From the preface, “...In consequence, there is a growing need for experienced and enlightened therapists to assist them in making the transition to a new life.”

These psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and psychologists were far ahead of the curve, especially working in the American South. The same year this pamphlet was published, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from their approved list of mental disorders, itself considered a big step for LBTQ rights in the United States. However, the APA replaced it with “sexual orientation disturbance” -- keeping that terminology until 1987.

An illuminating artifact of the progressive medical and psychiatric discourse about trans people in the early 1970s.

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