Trans task force report for American Psychological Association is out

August 18, 2008

Posted by Andrea James at TS Roadmap:

Before Kenneth Zucker (the reparative therapist of trans children at Toronto’s notorious CAMH Clarke Institute) was appointed to chair the committee revising the DSM for the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association had appointed Zucker to a task force preparing a report on trans people.

I had suggested dozens of revisions to the draft after one trans member of the Task Force resigned in protest. My involvement was unofficial and last-minute, though, and only some of my suggestions were incorporated in the report which is now out.

Task force members: 
Chair: Margaret Schneider, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada 
Walter O. Bockting, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical School 
Randall D. Ehrbar, PsyD; New Leaf Services Our Community, San Francisco 
Anne A. Lawrence, MD, PhD, Seattle 
Katherine Rachlin, PhD, New York 
Kenneth J. Zucker, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada

Please note this is separate from the DSM-V issue, though it does discuss the DSM. One refreshing bit of news from the press release:

The task force recommended that APA take no position with respect to the diagnosis of gender identity disorder, which is sometimes required for transgender clients to obtain needed care. “Psychologists who work with clients with gender identity issues are not of one mind on this issue,” task force members wrote. They noted that the psychiatric profession publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which contains GID, “and thus revision is their responsibility.”

This means they are putting the onus on the American Psychiatric Association in terms of perpetuating the mental illness diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” in the DSM. This DSM-V revision is the issue that all politically-minded trans people need to make their top priority, as it will affect all trans people for many years after its publication.

DSM-I published in 1952 
DSM-II published in 1968 
DSM-III published in 1980 
DSM-III-R published in 1987 
DSM-IV published in 1994 
DSM-IV-TR published in 2000 
DSM-V to be published in 2012

In other words, a mental illness listing of trans people will probably remain on the books until at least 2020, with a projected DSM-VI probably not until at least 2030. We will be faced with one to two decades of mental illness diagnoses before the issue will be reconsidered, unless we take a stand now.

More on this soon. In the meantime, I urge everyone to review this American Psychological Association task force report and start thinking about how to deal with the upcoming separate but related American Psychiatric Association DSM revision.

APA press release

APA brochure

Full text of the task force report (PDF)

APA resolution

See also: 
My cover letter of protest

My comments on the draft

Once I have had time to review the full document, I will publish my full commentary on the draft and note where changes were incorporated.

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