In this episode, Maggie Goldsmith joins Sasha and Stella for a conversation about the psychodynamic approach in understanding gender identity issues, particularly in children and adolescents. Maggie shares her personal journey, shedding light on how rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) can signal a need for change within the family dynamic. She puts an emphasis on the importance of delving into unconscious processes that shape identity and behavior. The discussion covers theories about how key developmental stages, such as symbiosis and paranoid schizoid positions, can impact self-perception and relationships. Psychodynamic therapy is highlighted as a tool for deeper exploration, benefiting both the child and their family. Maggie also highlights how parental anxiety can affect the parent-child relationship, so self-care is crucial for both the parent and child's well-being. Sasha, Stella and Maggie share anecdotes about how different children may respond to discussions about gender identity and how parents need to adapt to their child's unique needs and circumstances. The conversation underscores the importance of open communication and maintaining a healthy relationship with the child throughout their journey of self-discovery.
Dr. Maggie Goldsmith is the author of the PITT essay “To My Daughter’s Therapist: You Were Wrong”, which was the first essay from the PITT Substack to go viral and put PITT on the map. It can be found in a recently published book that includes 75 essays by parents who have gender questioning children.
Since her first Wider Lens episode (#85), she has been very busy with a full caseload of kids and families impacted by gender dysphoria. Dr. Maggie’s approach to this work is grounded in object relations theory and supported by an understanding of human development throughout the life course. This places the family and the parent-child relationship in a position of primary importance as they manage and repair the inevitable ruptures of adolescence.
This is a captivating conversation, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of psychoanalytic theory, gender identity, and the practical implications for clinicians and parents alike.
Mother-Daughter Story: "I Didn’t Want to be Yours Anymore" w/ Dr. Maggie Goldsmith
Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans: Tales from the Home Front in the Fight to Save Our Kids
PITT Substack Articles
Trans and the Myth of Sloppy Parenting
To My Daughter's Therapist: You Were Wrong
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Order Our Book – When Kids Say They’re Trans: A Guide for Thoughtful Parents
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If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting:
Episode 35 - Communicating About Gender: Translating Between Parent & Child
Episode 75 - Borderline Personality: Distorted Attempts to Integrate - A Conversation w/ Lisa Duval
Episode 84 — Denise Caignon From 4thWaveNow: The View From Behind the Scenes
Episode 98 — StoicMom: Using Her Child’s Trans Identity for Personal Individuation
Episode 109 — What If We Are All Wrong: A Mother’s Regret with Rose
Episode 110 — Pathologizing Normal: The Lure of Identity Labels & Diagnoses
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Stella O’Malley: http://www.stellaomalley.com/parent-coaching
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