Episode 30

Published on:

2nd Jul 2021

30 — Sasha & Stella Answer Your Questions: Part 2

Sasha and Stella answer listener questions… again! They start by highlighting recent episodes inspired by listener feedback. Next, they discuss the financial implications and complexities involved in adult children using their parents’ medical insurance. They reflect on the different roles that can emerge between mothers and fathers of gender dysphoric youth. Other questions address the similarities between body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, OCD, and other ruminative anxieties.


Activist Perspective on Body Dysmorphia & Gender Dysphoria 



Homosexual OCD: 



Trans OCD: 



Aaron Kimberly on Benjamin Boyce: 



Bryony Gordon, Mad Girl, book about OCD 



Suicidality in Body Dysmorphic Disorder 


Extended Notes

  • A little update on what topics Stella and Sasha have in the pipeline!
  • This is the second episode where Stella and Sasha answer listener questions!
  • How do you manage the costs of gender? This listener asked her daughter to pay for her own gender medical expenses.
  • When does it make sense for parents to accept where their child is in life?
  • This parent wants to support her child through her journey, but she also doesn’t want to pay for something she disagrees with.
  • If the parent is paying for it, then she should be able to look at the bills she’s paying for. If her child does not want her to see the medical procedures, then she must take ownership of those costs.
  • This parent needs to remind her daughter about all the ways she is happy to support her necessities. Basic food, shelter, and safety. How she has done so since she was a child. Sometimes children need the reminder. She also has three other children to consider and it makes sense why she might be hesitant to spend large resources on one when an emergency could happen to another one.
  • When do you know you’re enabling your child?
  • The fact insurance covers so many of these medical procedures is very shocking. They have an allure that they’re safe to do. They’re not!
  • Next listener question! How does a man, who works in a blue-collared field, tell his friends that his son wants to be a girl?
  • Stella has noticed that those who attend support groups for their transitioning children, 95% of them are mothers. Where are the men?
  • No matter what happens to your child, look after your marriage. You are stronger together.
  • Men are often suffering in their own private way. They express themselves differently than women do.
  • At the end of the day, the body is real, you’re born with it, and it’s here to stay.
  • What is homosexual OCD or transgender OCD?
  • This is a bit of a chicken/egg question. Can spending a lot of time on the internet, reading about the trans movement, taking quizzes, etc, influence your decision-making?
  • Stay tuned for future episodes! Sasha and Stella are excited to talk about some of these topics!

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod

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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

* We are sponsored by ReIME and Genspect.
Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/

Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. Parents are concerned that their kids are not receiving appropriate treatment and support; many do not feel free to speak out about their concerns.
To learn more, visit https://genspect.org/
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

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Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.