A Family Approach
Therapists working with the families of LGBT youth are facing questions for which there are no easy answers. What’s the best way to respond when the parent of a transgender teenager refuses to give him or her access to hormone therapy? Or when the parents of an 8-year-old gender nonconforming child disagree on whether they should consider changing their child’s pronoun and name in school? As therapists, we often witness both the devastating impact of the family rejection that LGBT teenagers often suffer as well as the overprotectiveness of the caregivers terrified of the difficult challenges that lay ahead for their child. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Differentiate gender fluidity from persistent transgender identity with young children and adolescents
- Create a collaborative family plan that includes siblings, grandparents, and family friends to establish the safety of the LGBT young person
- Engage teachers and other important community members in the life of the client to ensure their client is not isolated and at risk for suicide or other social complications
Jean Malpas, LMFT, LMHC, is the director of the Gender Family Project and director of international training at Ackerman Institute for the Family.