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Gender Dysphoria

What you need to know

Gender dysphoria is a term used to describe the distress that arises when a person believes that their biological sex does not match their gender identity. The level of distress experienced can lead to significant depression and anxiety and may impact daily life.

Gender identity refers to who we are, how we see ourselves, and how we express ourselves. Most people identify as either ‘male’ or ‘female’, and these are called ‘binary’ identities. Some people identify as ‘non-binary’ meaning the concept of gender is not relevant to their identity.

Many people with gender dysphoria have a strong desire to live a life that represents their gender identity. There are many ways to do this, including biological, psychological, and social changes. While gender dysphoria is no longer seen as a mental illness, the distress caused by gender dysphoria can often lead to mental illness. There has been a significant increase to gender clinics in the past decade and the reasons for this are unclear. Issues related to gender dysphoria can manifest in childhood.


What causes gender dysphoria?

There are no known causes of gender dysphoria, but it is well recognised that the concept of gender development is complex. Gender dysphoria is not related to sexual orientation.


Treatment options

Treatment for gender dysphoria is complex and lengthy, with significant waiting lists across child and adult services. The treating clinic will complete a comprehensive assessment to confirm the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Upon completion of assessment, a treatment plan will then be agreed, which can look different for everyone. For some people, confirmation of the diagnosis and the validation of this may be enough.

However, typically, individuals will progress with treatment moving from a social transition to medical intervention. Medical intervention can involve the prescribing of hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical intervention. Individuals may also receive intervention from a speech therapist to help them alter their voice.

There is a significant amount of psychological intervention offered to individuals at all stages of the treatment.


City Therapy’s approach to treatment

You can access psychological and emotional support through City Therapy by emailing or phoning our confidential service. Our team of highly skilled psychotherapists and psychologists have many years of experience working with issues that arise because of gender dysphoria. For example, you might be experiencing anxiety or stress due to reactions from family and friends. Or experiencing feelings of depression about your life right now?

Psychotherapy offers you a safe and confidential space to speak about your feelings and thoughts freely. You will work with your therapist to explore these feelings, thoughts and develop tailored coping strategies that work for you.

We have many experienced clinical psychologists and psychotherapists that have supported individuals throughout the different stages of their treatment journey. We work alongside medical teams, doctors, and other services with our client’s consent to provide a tailored care treatment plan.  Through our “right fit” process, we will help you find the right therapist to start your therapy journey today.


Next steps

If you feel like you may be experiencing difficulties related to your gender, you have different options. You can link in with your GP, who will be able to discuss your treatment and diagnosis options. Your GP can refer you to City Therapy for psychological support or you can self-refer.

This is a very brief synopsis of the treatment offered, but in reality, there are many complexities to this process, and further reading would be recommended.


Identity Support Group

This safe, positive, and fun space is for young trans people and those exploring their gender identity, meeting bi-weekly on a Wednesday from 5.30-7.30pm Identity is a support group for LGBT asylum seekers. The group is a peer-to-peer network, offering support and advice as well as a sense of community to its members. The group meets on a monthly basis
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National Gender Service – Loughlinstown
HSE National Gender Service St. Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin.
01 – 2115045

TENI: Transgender Equality Network Ireland

The Outhouse: LGBT+ Drop in Community Centre

GCN Magazine: Ireland’s Gay Community News

ITSA: Irish Trans Support Alliance 

10 Ellis Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
Nationwide peer support group for anyone who identifies as trans or questioning. Active social network and regular meetups.


Dublin Trans Peer Support Group
10 Ellis Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland
We are a peer support group for transgender, nonbinary and questioning adults. Our meetings take place on the first and third Wednesday of the month from 7 – 9pm.
Phone: +353 (0)1 873 3575