this is a timely matter paper!
The Case of Wanda J.
Wanda J. is a 14-year-old African American girl, born to an intact middle class African American family. She is an only child. Her father is a manager of a trucking company and her mother is a court stenographer. As of late, Wanda’s grades have started dropping in school. When questioned by her parents, she states that she is very unhappy because she has realized in the past few years that she was born into the wrong body and is really a male. In fact she states that in the future, she would like to change her name to William, undergo hormonal treatments and eventually have her breasts surgically removed and have a penis surgically constructed. Her parents are “incredulous” to the situation and think their daughter is “insane.” They have taken her to a psychologist who happens to be white/European, and who has diagnosed Wanda with “gender dysphoria.” The psychologist has also deemed her to be “competent” with no signs of psychosis. Her parents who are also conservative Catholics, are enraged with the doctor’s diagnosis stating that “because the psychologist is white and liberal, she is excusing behavior incompatible to God’s will.” The parent’s believe that their daughter is misguided or even “mentally ill” concerning her preferred gender identity. Out of frustration, they yell at and berate Wanda every time she discusses her desire to become a boy. As of late they have even put together a religious support group to “pray away” her desire to be a boy.
Wanda, who can no longer stand her parent’s hostile and conservative religious attitudes, takes an overdose of her mom’s sleeping pills and is brought to the emergency room where she is medically stabilized. Wanda states to the ER physician, that unless her parents support her gender identity transition, she will continue to hurt herself. She is therefore hospitalized for depression and continued suicidal ideations.
Her parents are angry with her continued insistence on sexually transitioning as well as her threat to hurt herself, but because they do love her, also feel guilty that their actions may have resulted in their daughter’s suicide attempt and hospitalization.
The parents insist that Wanda not be released from the hospital until the medical team (which you lead) “cures” her gender identity issue/obsession.
Formulate a culturally responsive treatment plan for Wanda and her parents, incorporating the following points:
Address the stages that transgender youth experience when supported or not supported by family.
How are transgender individuals viewed in society in general and African American society in particular?
How can you help Wanda’s parents work through their rigid social, racial and religious belief system so they can constructively address her gender dysphoria?
What might happen to Wanda, physically and or emotionally if she is denied the wish to transition?
How can you address Wanda’s depression and gender dysphoria using established medical and psychiatric treatments?
In what ways would you educate the parents about transgender issues?
How can you help her parents deal with their guilt, anger, and frustration with this situation?
If you gain the parent’s permission, what services and or recommendations would you offer Wanda regarding her transition?
What would her parents need to know regarding supportive and constructive behavior towards Wanda if she goes through the transition?
Discuss other Cultural Sensitivity and Competence issues that may impact and even ameliorate this case?