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Therapy With Transgender Individuals: Mental Health Considerations

This entry discusses provision of mental health care services to transgender clients, first addressing the definitions of gender and transgender. It then addresses therapeutic approaches and stages of transition, as well as addressing some of the barriers to forming a therapeutic alliance between client and therapist. In addition, the entry defines a successful outcome of the therapeutic process.

“Gender” and Transgender”: Definitions

Gender can be understood as a social process inherent between people, based on assumptions made about each other’s identity and social role as a man or woman. This process is learned as part of childhood socialization, defining various social boundaries: acceptable levels and types of physical contact, forms of speech, topics of conversation, and proximity of body. Because gender is a social process, these boundaries ...

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