The WPATH Standards of Care

29 Apr

The most recently published version of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care document is version 7. It was published in 2011, and in many ways, was truly revolutionary. It is available in PDF form in 18 different languages at the link below.

Among the major changes were:

SOC 7 is far more patient focused. No longer are therapists and medical professionals placed in the proverbial gatekeeper role. Instead, the decisions about care (when, where, what) are primarily up to the trans person, with the professionals involvement more advisory. “Some patients may need hormones, a possible change in gender role, but not surgery; others may need a change in gender role along with surgery, but not hormones. In other words, treatment for gender dysphoria has become more individualized.

The SOC depathologizes trans / gender non-conformance. “Being Transsexual, Transgender, or Gender Nonconforming Is a Matter of Diversity, Not Pathology” is one chapter sub-head. Another significant, clear, undeniable statement: “Psychotherapy is not an absolute requirement for hormone therapy and surgery.

Another excellent point in the SOC is the very clear statement that so-called reparative therapy is not a valid goal. “Psychotherapy is not intended to alter a person’s gender identity; rather, psychotherapy can help an individual to explore gender concerns and find ways to alleviate gender dysphoria, if present.” and “Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and lived gender expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past, yet without success, particularly in the long term. Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.

There’s much more, but these were some of the more significant changes in the Standards of Care. I encourage you to download it, have a look, and see how it might fit your needs and care.

Standards of Care – PDF Downloads

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