This Conference provides timely and vital information and support for not only professionals working with transgender youth and families, but the families and youth as well. GCE not only changes many, but also, saves lives.
This conference was excellent. The presenters were strong and incredibly knowledgeable. I left feeling refreshed, inspired, and excited to bring all that I learned back to my practice working with youth, adults, and families.
-Kelli Knabe, Clinical Social Worker
Excellent opportunity to network with trans youth affirming and knowledgeable colleagues. Particularly appreciated the inclusion of complex cases and advanced clinical discussion in workshops
See our 2016 Presenter Bios.
The day will begin with two general sessions for all participants:
This workshop will offer seasoned therapists an opportunity to explore in-depth the intersection between their own gender and sexual identities and those of their clients when working with gender-variant and transgender youth, young adults, and families. The impact of gender on the therapeutic relationship is traditionally explored through a binary and cisgender lens. However, both clinicians and clients may have gender identities outside of these paradigms. How does this impact transference and counter-transference? How can therapists working with gender-variant and transgender clients cultivate an awareness of these nuances and use their identities as clinical tools? The presenters will draw from Narrative Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Rogerian, Intersectionality, and Social Justice perspectives. This workshop is for both cisgender and transgender identified therapists.
--Elijah C. Nealy, PhD, M.Div.
Two presenters will discuss an influx of cases in their clinic that seem diagnostically unclear. They will speculate about why, and will share their counter-transferential feelings. Through discussion with workshop participants, they will begin to develop criteria that may help differentiate these complex cases. They will explore the edge between doubt and gate-keeping, attempting to define 'gate-keeping' more finely. The workshop will also delve more deeply into the clinical challenges of working with trans adolescents as they navigate their day-to-day lives “post-transition." Areas addressed will include shifting friendships with peers of their birth-assigned sex and affirmed gender, navigating adolescent developmental tasks such as dating, relationships, and sexual intimacy, intersecting aspects of identity for trans youth of color, persistent dysphoria and body image issues, recovery from internalized shame, and the normative longing to simply be a “regular teenager.” Strategies to facilitate parental comprehension of these unique challenges will also be addressed.
Transgender youth are rarely heard, but art can give voice to their experiences. Tony will share slides of actual drawings created by members of his youth group “Translation and Create Yourself.” The drawings answer questions like “What does body dysphoria feel like?” and “What makes you sad?” He will highlight the idea that transgender youth are often in a situation where others around them are the one who have an issue with their gender identity. Adrienne will explore the case of a 20 year old, African-American transwoman who presents masculine out of fear of rejection from family, friends, and intimate partners. Participants will reflect on internal and external conflicts surrounding her struggles with gender expression and the transphobia that she experiences. Participants will engage in an intersectional discussion, addressing the complexities of the case regarding gender, sexual orientation, and race, and how they affect her relationships.
Suicidality among trans* youth is a major concern of many providers who are working with this population. Statistically, the rates of attempted suicide in the trans* population are much higher than those of the general population. In this presentation, we will describe current research on the rates of suicide among trans* youth and the factors that contribute to these increased rates of suicide. We will also discuss interventions aimed at reducing suicidality among trans* youth, including family therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, peer support and hormone therapy. We will discuss the dilemmas that can arise when an actively suicidal trans* adolescent/young adult is seeking hormone therapy and strategies we have found helpful in addressing these dilemmas. Cultural competence is essential in treating all clients and issues of cultural competence will be woven through the case examples used to highlight the complexities of this work.