Washington therapist reveals how she was told to ‘throw out all her training’ and give ‘gender affirming care’ to abused, autistic, suicidal 13-YEAR-OLD
A Washington therapist has revealed how she was told to ‘throw away’ all her medical training and provide ‘gender-affirming care’ to an abused, autistic and suicidal 13-year-old.
Tamara Pietzke (36) left the profession after she was reprimanded by her superiors for not immediately signing off on children’s requests for puberty blockers and sex change surgeries.
Some of the children who wanted to be transgender had a multitude of problems – including physical and mental abuse, raging anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Despite this, she was shunned from quickly signing documents to give them life-changing medication – and when she voiced her concerns, she was accused of being biased against trans children, reports The Free Press.
Tamara Pietzke (36) is pictured with her own children. She quit her job after painful, frustrating instances where she was reprimanded by her superiors for not immediately signing off on children’s requests for puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries
Mother-of-three Pietzke decided to become a therapist in her 20s, and she graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with a master’s degree in social work.
Pietzke has worked with hundreds of clients in Puget Sound, Wash., for the past decade — but she quit her job in January because she was told to “throw away” her training if a young person had gender dysphoria.
Instead of properly assessing them, she was told to just approve their medical transition.
Write in The Free Pressrevealed the therapist: ‘I got the message from my supervisors that when a young person I saw was uncomfortable with their gender – the diagnostic term is gender dysphoria – I should throw away all my training.
‘No matter the patient’s history or other mental health conditions that might complicate the situation, I simply had to confirm that the patient was transgender, and even approve the beginning of a medical transition.’
Pietzke admitted she was terrified to speak out — “but that fear pales in comparison to my strong belief that we can no longer medicalize youth and cause them potentially irreversible harm.”
She explained that one of her clients, a 13-year-old girl, had a range of mental health problems. She was abused by her bipolar mother, sexually abused by her cousin, her mother’s boyfriend, and by a classmate.
The child had depression, PTSD, anxiety, intermittent explosive disorder and autism – and had previously been hospitalized for talking about suicide.
Pietzke began working with her as a therapist after she expressed ideas of gender dysphoria — and the Mary Bridge Children’s Gender Health Clinic in Washington needed a therapist to sign off before giving the 13-year-old medicine to stop her periods. suppress and take testosterone.
The therapist recalled in the Free Press how the autistic child could not communicate properly with her, and during her first visit began showing Pietzke ‘extremely sadistic and graphic pornographic videos on her phone’.
She said the troubled girl was ‘hyper-fixated’ on the porn videos and said it was one of the only genres available to her growing up with her abusive mother.
The girl, who despite being a teenager pacified and watched Teletubbies, recalled how her mother almost killed her sister. She has also just been expelled from school for threatening to blow up the building.
Pictured: Mary Bridge Children’s Gender Health Clinic in Washington
Pietzke said the girl always seemed depressed in their therapy sessions – and never talked to her about her gender dysphoria.
She wrote: ‘When I asked her how she felt about an upcoming appointment at the gender clinic, she told me she didn’t know she had one.’
Pietzke felt she had made some progress in getting the child to open up in their first three sessions, but when she went to schedule the fourth session with her guardian – her mother’s boyfriend – they would not.
Instead, they demanded that Pietzke write her a letter of recommendation for cross-sex hormone treatment. That is, at age 13, she would start taking testosterone. So a letter from me starts the process of medical transition for a patient.
Immediately, the therapist thought this was a bad idea because of the deep, multiple problems the child had. She said: ‘It seemed like malpractice to suddenly start her on a medical gender transition that could quickly cause permanent changes.’
But Pietzke was reprimanded by her superiors for the concerns she raised. Her manager even took the child out of her care and gave her a new therapist.
The therapist was accused of having ‘personal biases about trans children’ for simply asking questions and proceeding cautiously with life-changing drugs.
She said: ‘I emailed a program manager in my department at MultiCare and outlined my concerns. She wrote back that my client’s trauma history has no bearing on whether or not she should receive hormone treatment.’
Pietzke has worked with hundreds of clients in Puget Sound, Washington, for the past decade – but she quit her job in January after her bosses told her to “simply confirm” young trans children’s genders. She has been told to ‘throw away’ her training if a young person has gender dysphoria – and instead of properly assessing them, she must approve their medical transition
The email said: “There is no valid, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research that would indicate that gender dysphoria results from anything other than gender (including trauma, autism, other mental health conditions, etc.).”
‘There is the potential to cause harm to a client’s mental health when access to gender-affirming care is restricted. Examine (your) personal beliefs and prejudices about trans children.’
Months earlier, Pietzke said she had to attend mandatory training on gender-affirming care, where she asked the leader “why 70 to 80 percent of female adolescents diagnosed with gender dysphoria have prior mental health diagnoses.”
She was again reprimanded by her colleagues for spreading ‘misinformation about trans children’ and ‘demonstrating a hostility towards trans people, which is a direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath.’
Pietzke had another 16-year-old girl as a client who started saying she no longer felt like a girl during the pandemic. She also had a plethora of mental health issues.
The girl started using they/he pronouns and identified as pansexual, and used a gender neutral name. Her father refused to let her take testosterone, so she didn’t.
All Mary Bridge Children’s Gender Health Clinic could do in the meantime was give her birth control to stop her period due to her ‘menstrual dysphoria’.
In early 2023, the girl decided she was no longer gender neutral – but instead identified as a ‘wounded boy’. She was ‘xenogender’, a concept that goes ‘beyond the human understanding of gender’.
She wanted to start wearing ears and a tail.
The therapist asked her colleagues if there was ever a time when it wasn’t necessary to affirm so freely—and the answer was no.
One colleague said: ‘It sounds like it’s not something that’s ‘broken’ so let’s not try to ‘fix’ it.
“If someone told me they use a litter box instead of a toilet and they’re happy with it and it’s part of their life that brings them fulfillment, then that’s great!”
Pietzke wrote in the Free Press: ‘I’m speaking out because nothing will change unless people like me – who know the risks of medicalizing difficult young people – blow the whistle.
‘I am desperate to help my patients. And I believe, if I don’t speak out, I will have betrayed them.’