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Gender Sensitivity

Image by Elyssa Fahndrich

“Differences don’t just have to be endured;

only through them do the opposites arise,

between which our creativity strikes dialectical sparks”

Audre Lorde

My position

Here I try to present a shortened view of what gender-sensitive psychotherapy could look like. 

I strive to work in a way that is as guideline-based, scientific, enlightened, responsible and open as possible. I always try to educate myself and engage with current discourses in order to be able to critically reflect on and improve my work. I benefit from the exchange with my private and professional community, including the working group for gender-sensitive counseling and therapy, which I founded and lead with colleagues in 2023 (

I understand the reasons for which there may be a private or political interest in revealing my gender/sexual identity, but I only provide information about this in a self-determined manner in the private sphere.


How do I understand gender? 

I view gender and sexuality as a spectrum of many “normal” variations and advocate for their equal recognition and appreciation. I support the idea of “doing gender” and see gender and sexual identity as socially constructed, performative, multifactorial and fluid. I am of the opinion that only people themselves can provide information about their gender and sexual identity and that this cannot and should not be determined from outside. I critically question the “gendering” of body characteristics, emotions and behavior. Since they represent a restriction on natural ways of expressing and processing psychological and interactional processes, I consider them morally questionable and potentially harmful.


Who is gender-sensitive psychotherapy intended for and who can benefit from it?

Due to minority stress, marginalized people (groups) such as LGBTQIA* are particularly vulnerable in terms of mental health and, in my opinion, gender-sensitive therapy is essential for them. However, I am convinced that people with traditional/normative gender and sexual identities can only benefit from the diversity of perspectives that are available in discourse today.

Exemplary occasions or topics


  • Have difficulty identifying and positioning yourself

  • Have difficulties with how the (in)accurate sexual identity is perceived by others, what stereotypes are associated with it and what reactions it provokes

    • e.g. as a man/male-passing, feeling shame for privileges; reluctant to be associated with threat

    • e.g. being sexualized as a woman/female-passing or pushed into submissive roles

  • Processing biographical shame, sadness, fear, anger because of sexual identity

  • Processing experiences of discrimination, gender-specific trauma and experiences of violence

Endo-/cis-/heterosexuals with non-normative gender expression

  • to identify as a gentle/emotional man* or as a lustful/strong woman*

  • As a woman, you don't want to have children or live a monogamous life

  • As a woman, experiencing intimidation, discrimination or (sexualized) violence

  • As a man, you are not allowed to be afraid or cry

  • As a man, you don't have to ask for help, appear strong and assert yourself

LGBTQIA*/GSM (gender and sexual minorities)

  • Exploring your own sexual identity and preferences

  • Reflection on inviting-in/coming-out in family or at work

  • Trying out “gender-specific new” experiences and behaviors (e.g. putting on makeup for the first time as a man, dating for the first time as a trans* person)

  • Supporting transition processes (including hormone treatment, gender reassignment), if necessary writing indication letters

  • Improving body image/experience

  • Learning self-care, emotion regulation strategies, promoting self-esteem

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