Mental Health Treatment

Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria refers to a condition where a person may feel severe discomfort about the gender and sex assigned at the time of birth. Sex refers to the physical attributes of a person related to their reproductive organs, based on which the category of ‘male’ or ‘female’ is assigned at birth. Gender refers to the social system that is based on assumptions about roles and characteristics which are perceived as masculine or feminine. 


Transgender people typically experience this condition at some point during their lifetime. In severe cases of gender dysphoria an individual may wish to be rid of the physical sex attributes to redefine their identity.


To clarify, identifying with a different gender than the one assigned at birth is not a mental disorder. It is only when an individual experiences severe discomfort and significant distress leading to difficulties to function normally in their daily lives, they are considered as having gender dysphoria disorder.

Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria

Causes of Gender Dysphoria

No specific causes are known for gender dysphoria however it has been observed that they are commonly reported by affected children between the ages of 2 – 4 years, although most of them no longer report it when they reach adolescence. Adults and young adults may experience gender dysphoria during puberty or early adulthood.


Research shows that all babies start out with female sex chromosomes (X) inherited from the mother, and only after the eighth week of pregnancy the father’s contribution of chromosomes become active. If the father’s contributions are Y chromosomes the testosterone and other male hormones makes it a male. There are several causes that could create gender identity differences after birth.


If the hormones that are supposed to trigger the development of sex and gender during pregnancy do not function correctly this could lead to a difference between how they relate to their sex versus their gender, which could be a factor leading to gender dysphoria.

Estrogen Enhancing Drugs

Exposure to drugs during pregnancy that may enhance progesterone or other estrogen related hormones may have an influence on gender based identity

Intersex Conditions

In some rare cases, babies may be born with both male and female sex parts which may create a crisis in gender identity

Treatment of Gender Dysphoria

Gender confirmation surgery is offered to patients with intersex conditions after they grow up and choose their own gender. 


Hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery are options for those with severe cases of gender dysphoria however they are not guaranteed to cure the distress.


Therapy and family counseling are the most recommended options to help understand and overcome symptoms of distress and learn to manage their emotions in social settings.

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Alyssa Mueller


Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.