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Thread: Therapy

  1. #1
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Therapy

    Go talk to a therapist is often advice given here but to just what extent does replying to threads act as a virtual therapist for many of us? I pondered this after replying to a thread with many replies, replies that I know so many of us don't read before adding our own entry.

    So are we just expressing our opinion or are we there simultaneously on the virtual couch expressing our deepest thoughts? Committing ourselves to the screen as a way of solidifying our emotions and ponderings. Is this more true for those who perhaps don't get as much dressing time as they'd like? Being here is that safety valve that allows us to feel a greater connection to our femme selves when physically expressing it isn't possible?

    I come here daily, several times in fact even though most days I spend time in femme attire and regularly wear forms and heels. I'm drawn here to make contact with others like me. It breaks the isolation it's possible to occasionally feel but mostly it's just to know I can converse with others like me. Sympathetic listening ears and isn't that what a therapist is?
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    Helen, No, actually good therapy should be far more than a sympathetic ear. There is an expression in the therapy field: There are two kinds of therapy, therapy that feels good, and therapy that works. A talented therapist will be empathetic, of course, but also will challenge and probe in a manner that is not the function of a forum like this.

    Plus, hopefully, when we engage a therapist they have a level of knowledge and professional training that prepares them to help us see ourselves in new ways and explore our past. I value the therapy that I have had. I do believe that a difficulty for people like you and me, however, is finding a therapist who really understands gender dysphoria. My experience is that many say they do who have no actual training in this area. Just my two cents, Nancy

  3. #3
    Silver Member NancySue's Avatar
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    A good two cents, Nancy. However, I believe in the old adage ?it takes one to know one?. I believe we are a very special group. The ideal therapist would be one who not only is trained, but is also a cder. My dear wife and I have, for years, tried to obtain both an insight and understanding of my need to dress, which extends back to my childhood. We just accept it. We know it?s here to stay. Why fight it? Life?s too short. JMO.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sandi Beech's Avatar
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    Helen,

    I come here quite often and your post made me wonder why. Being an analytical person, I do a lot of self reflection. I think I mostly come here because it is my only outlet for sharing the wonderful experiences I have had over the last 5 or so years that I have gone out dressed socially.

    I never felt like I needed therapy, but my wife did. She wanted me to be fixed by the therapist. I have posted about this before. It backfired miserably. The therapist was good mind you, but gave my wife a homework assignment to research crossdressing, and as a result she fired the therapist - said she would never go back because all crossdressers get divorced eventually. Talk about closed minded. Of course I went back just one more time by myself - fully dressed that last time. When she said - I see a woman, that is all the therapy I needed. Cured - but I am still crossdressing.

    Clearly from reading some of the posts here, some people really need a good therapist. I am in no way putting that down. I am just a bit different in that I can talk to some cute women in a bar about my dressing habit, and it does as much for me as anything else ever did. Others may not be so fortunate as I am. I am lucky as I have gotten past any guilt or shame. I just want to have some fun.

    Sandi

  5. #5
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, in no way do I think talking to a therapist, trained in gender issues or not will lead to understanding why we crossdress. I am a believer in nature and nuture (meaning the environment we grow up in, family, neighborhood, school, culture, etc.). I think I was born this way as Lady Gaga puts it, but also shaped by some early life experiences that I do understand and we?re traumatic. But my therapy helped me overcome depression, accept myself, be more loving with my wife, and be more successful in my career. I never expected therapy to alter my wish to have been born female.
    Last edited by NancyJ; 01-04-2022 at 03:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Most of us may have something useful to say, from time to time, and all of that is welcome, but no one should ever think that this or that post or thread is a suitable substitute for the services of a qualified therapist. That service is not a "sympathetic listening ear". It is a critical and analytical listening ear. It is also a set of skills used to engage the patient and draw out information that can then be used to build accurate diagnoses and formulate effective treatment. Virtually none of us here are even remotely qualified to do this.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

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  7. #7
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    I agree with Nancy J.Finding a therapist that deals with gender dysphoria is difficult. Even if you find one they are likely to be a student of it and not actually experienced it themselves.I also think the therapist is likely to view gender dysphoria from a transgender transition viewpoint and not that of a cross dresser viewpoint.On another thread I pointed out that most support groups cater more for the transgender than cross dresser. Like Helen I am drawn to this forum to view the opinions and converse with others like myself.I agree that it can also be therapeutic.But it is not an alternative for therapy if that is what is required.
    Last edited by Debbie Denier; 01-04-2022 at 03:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I would never suggest that this site or any other social media site be considered a substitute for the services of professional therapist. A therapist might suggest participation in RL or on-line social groups as a means of reducing an individuals sense of isolation, perhaps even to help build a sense of self acceptance, but there is a lot more to the process than that.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member Heather76's Avatar
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    I generally try to reduce things to the simplest terms. If a person is seeking answers, get the help you need to find those answers if you're unable to find them yourself. If that involves a therapist, find the best, most qualified therapist you can afford trained in the area you need help with. However, I also don't dwell on the "why" I do what I do. To me, the reasons are not at all important. I am who I am and live as I live. I believe myself to be a genuinely nice, caring, and thoughtful person who has never purposely caused harm to another. The fact that I enjoy wearing women's clothing affects nobody else except (to some small degree) my wife. I don't question why so I don't need any answers. No therapy for me.

    I do believe that sites such as this one definitely play an important role for those of us with, shall we say, unusual lifestyles. Face it, it is a relatively small percentage of men that cross dress whether it be just wearing panties on occasion or going all out in full attire and makeup on a daily basis. Is it therapy? I don't know. But, in my case it gives me an outlet with which to discuss and share my experiences and journey as well as learn from others who have made this journey earlier, and farther, than I have. I wish my crossdressing was something my wife would be willing to openly discuss with me as well as offering me fashion tips about. The reality is that she doesn't care to talk about it. Maybe that day will come. In the meantime, I value learning from others with more experience as it helps me to understand what I might expect to see on down the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Geena75's Avatar
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    I've never been to therapy, although I have studied psychology and counseling as part of a degree in education. I think of therapy as very directed: lots of discussion to pinpoint an issue and directing at it. This site is very broad based. I have found it a great source of encouragement, information, and warnings. In other words, a support group. We share the ups, downs, and challenges. In terms of therapy, though, it is more like giving an objective person what they need for self help.

  11. #11
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    I once had a woman referred to me after a failed therapy experience. Her initial complaint to
    me about her experience was that her therapist would tell her that she understood what she was
    going through because she, (the therapist), had been through the same or similar experience.


    Two things happen when you tell someone you understand how they feel based on your own
    experience.

    First, it cuts down on the conversation. Why should someone waste time telling you about
    something you already know? And, the possibility the Pt. will steer the discussion to conform
    to what is similar to what the therapist suggests is "normal" or "expected" in a particular
    situation.


    Second, You are wrong!


    The task of the therapist is to help the patient understand him- or her-self. The therapist's
    own experiences are valuable to help understand the range of possible experiences. BUT, it is
    the patient's own experiences and feelings that need to be explored. The therapist may need to
    help guide, but, always, stay out of the way.


    (As a ski instructor, I have crashed in hundreds of ways, some very creative. But, I need to
    know what YOUR fear is based on to help you overcome it.)


    Good luck
    Last edited by VtVicky; 01-06-2022 at 11:17 PM. Reason: formatting problem

  12. #12
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    I've used therapists several times. The first was with a girlfriend who wanted to get married and I kept putting her off.
    The first question the therapist asked me was, "Do u love her?"
    My answer was, "No". And, rite there our session was over!

    Therapists listen, but also ask pointed, often very personal, questions. Something we can't do here.

    There's a big difference between the therapeutic value some of us may receive here and a private session with an experienced counselor!
    Last edited by docrobbysherry; 01-05-2022 at 09:36 PM.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  13. #13
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    I visit a therapist regularly and it's wonderful. I found her by luck as her picture looks nice! I warned her about myself (she doesn't specialise in CDs and I am her first) and, after visiting my dresser, I went to her house for the first time. She was surprised at how convincing I looked (I'm proud to say) and I explained that I didn't want to be "cured" but wanted her to help me discover what has driven me to dress all my life. We meet regularly and just gently chat through various issues and I find myself discovering lots about myself. One time, she was away on holiday and suggested visiting a male colleague, but I can't cope with that at all!
    I strongly recommend my experience.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    I have been in and out of therapy most of my adult life. The therapist that I found most effective is the therapist to whom I revealed the most of my inner self. Had I gone further with him, I may have discovered what I now know was driving so much of my inner turmoil - my CD tendency, and my inability to face it. When I finally gave in on my own, I experienced the peace and pleasure that I had denied myself for so long.

    Quote Originally Posted by docrobbysherry View Post
    There's a big difference between the theraputic value some of us may receive here and a private session with an experienced counselor!
    Exactly. It can and often is therapeutic and validating to participate in a discussion group like this,not to mention a lot of fun! However, it is not therapy per se. To gain full benefit from that, you must be ready to go very deep into your psyche, and be ready to address what you may find there.
    Last edited by Kris Burton; 01-05-2022 at 06:49 AM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    Miss Conception Karren Hutton's Avatar
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    As a group, we should band together and offer online crossdressing therapy! We would make a killing! Maybe a crossdressing therapy ap! Cross-Talk-Space!! Yeah!

  16. #16
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    The fact this site exists has therapeutic value. However, the advice you get here is worth exactly what you paid. The recognition that you are not alone is of value. Back in the 1960's I was a mess. I thought I may be something I wasn't; was unsettling to say the least. I have read a lot of good advice and story telling on this site. I have also read some really bad advice. Some of the advice would do nothing for conflict resolution or even put a MtF on the course of revolving his issues.

    That's the real issue. How does a therapist resolve conflict within a person and with others. When I read posts where it is obvious the cross dressing man is struggling with himself that is different than struggling with his interactions with others. I never went to a therapist for cross dressing issues. Way back, when it may have been beneficial I was scared shit less. Through self analysis I finally accepted myself. I still have to deal with others.

    I have been in counseling since 2010 for combat related PTSD issues. I can see how my counselor works in trying to resolve any inner conflicts I may have. I also attend weekly group meetings with guys who experienced the same things in Nam. We do not sit around and tell war stories. We support each other in dealing with day to day issues, and, to help some get over a rough patch in the road. That is part of the positivity of this site; conversing and offering support. Yes, there is a lot of "What color panties are you wearing today?" but there is a lot of hard issues presented here. There is one thing I find troubling or maybe a little lacking. Showing support does not always mean stroking somebody's back. Sometimes there has to be hard criticism, although expressed in a meaningful way. Life isn't a bed of roses. Call a spade, a spade.

  17. #17
    Fun Member Natalie5004's Avatar
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    Cross Talk Space.... I am in. I give great space.

    This made me laugh again.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    That is an interesting point Stephanie. Interactions with others are much easier when I'm presenting female.
    My height and weight may have a lot to do with that. Not only am I shorter than the average female, but I only weigh 50kg.

    Marion
    Last edited by Maid_Marion; 01-05-2022 at 09:22 PM.

  19. #19
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Thanks for so many interesting comments.

    I should make it plain that I'm not for one moment suggesting that this site is a full and direct replacement for full on and experienced counselling. For some that is the way forward for them especially if they have deep underlying issues. I do feel however that for many here to read what tribulations, what thoughts, what others have achieved has the ability to make us reconsider our own position. It helps to clarify our own thoughts.

    I've giving real consideration to opening up to my SO, to have "That talk". It's reading what others have done, the outcomes both good and bad has helped me shape my thoughts. Yes there are other factors at play but I know it to be true that without the support of so many here, I wouldn't have progressed along my journey to anywhere near the extent I have. So many comment about the ending of that feeling of isolation they felt before finding this site and the very fact that there are so many of us here, if it offered nothing more than a chance to talk about what coloured knickers you had on, it'd quickly loose it's shine.

    Mental health is a big issue these days and the primary advice seems to be if you're struggling, talk to someone about it. If you think a friend is struggling, ask them about it. Talking something though can be, note, can be, a safety release valve that catches problems before they grow. The anonymity this site offers allows us to open up when for many there's no-one else you can confide in. Therapy doesn't always need a therapist.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  20. #20
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    What we are all saying here is that we are trying to live our most authentic and genuine life. We want to be able to see ourselves as the person that we are both inward and outward. The problem is that our society is not always that accepting of themselves and certainly not of us. The real difficulty is the isolation. It is at times crippling to be feeling totally alone in our lives. We seek connectedness, acceptance, and understanding, this provides a belonging to the world that we share with others that may not even notice we are out in public in a skirt with a buzz cut and a 5:00PM shadow. Here we find that way to become free and unchained from the isolation that surrounds the secrets of our lives that we have maybe never been able to reveal. Therapy is in many ways just that; a way to break out of the isolation and loneliness that we have experienced in areas of our lives. I am not boiling it down to just those concepts individually. Therapy is much more than that because if done affectively will serve as having an unbiased professional that will challenge us. One of the bigger problems that I see is that therapy is being suggested for every single situation that is indicated as a potential problem in a persons life. This just seems as a way to pathologize things that are not really a problem or unhealthy. What this forum does for so many including myself is provides an outlet to be in the virtual presence of others and to be both authentic and genuine. It is a safe outlet from the isolation. So it may not replace therapy in a situation where therapy is most needed it can help identify areas where therapy might be more beneficial.

  21. #21
    Member Mermaiden's Avatar
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    Good discussion, lots of thoughts and experiences here.
    My observation is entries and some responses do provide psychological relief from the isolation of being a crossdresser, and some entries and responses are show a ?show and tell?. While not at all the same as professional therapy, there is therapeutic value to this site, and it has helped me.

    What I don?t find at all helpful, and actually harmful because they claim authority but are just balderdash, are ?scientific studies?, and ?expert? podcasts on CDing.

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