Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Transgender People in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Deb CoolhartEmail author
  • Linda Stone Fish
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_497

Name of Family Form

Transgender.

Synonyms

Gender dysphoria; Gender non-conforming

Introduction

As transgender people are becoming more visible, people experiencing gender dysphoria have greater access to information about transgender identities and the transitioning process, and more couples and families are dealing with adjusting to a family member’s new expression of gender identity. Couple and family therapists are often unequipped to work with this population, having had little to no education about gender dysphoria, transgender identity, and the process of transitioning. This chapter will introduce clinicians to transgender identity and help them understand the impact of relational and cultural factors on gender transition and how to assess and intervene in couple and family therapy.

Description

Gender identity is described as “a category of social identity and refers to an individual’s identification as male, female, or occasionally, some category other than male and female.”...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Badgett, M.V., Lau, H., Sears, B., Ho, D. (2007). Bias in the workplace: Consistent evidence of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Balsam, K. F., Molina, Y., Beadnell, B., Simoni, J., & Walters, K. (2011). Measuring multiple minority stress: The LGBT people of color microaggressions scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(2), 163–174.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023244.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Bockting, W. O., Knudson, G., & Goldberg, J. M. (2006). Counseling and mental health care for transgender adults and loved ones. International Journal of Transgenderism, 9(3–4), 35–82.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J485v09n03_03.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boss, P. G. (1999). Ambiguous loss: Learning to live with unresolved grief. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bradford, J., Reisner, S. L., & Xavier, J. (2013). Experiences of transgender-related discrimination and implications for health: Results from the Virginia transgender health initiative study. American Journal of Public Health, 103(10), 1820–1829.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300796.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Brill, S., & Pepper, R. (2008). The transgender child: A handbook for families and professionals. San Francisco: Cleis Press.Google Scholar
  8. Budge, S. L., Adelson, J. L., & Howard, K. A. (2013). Anxiety and depression in transgender individuals: The roles of transition status, loss, social support, and coping. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(3), 545–557.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031774.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Carroll, L., Gilroy, P. J., & Ryan, J. (2002). Counseling transgendered, transsexual, and gender-variant clients. Journal of Counseling and Development, 80(2), 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coleman, E., Bockting, W., Botzer, M., Cohen-Kettenis, P., DeCuypere, G., Feldman, J., & Zucher, K. (2012). Standards of care for the health of transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people, version 7. International Journal of Transgenderism, 13(4), 165–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cook-Daniels, L., & Munson, M. (2010). Sexual violence, elder abuse, and sexuality of transgender adults, age 50+: Results of three surveys. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6(2), 142–177.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15504281003705238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coolhart, D. (2012). Supporting transgender youth and their families in therapy: Facing challenges and harnessing strengths. In J. Bigner & J. Wetchler’s (Eds.), Handbook of LGBT-affirmative couple and family therapy. New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
  13. Coolhart, D. (2017). Helping families move from distress to attunement. In C. Meier & D. Ehrendaft’s (Eds.), The gender affirmative model: A new approach to supporting gender non-conforming and transgender children. Washington DC: APA Books.Google Scholar
  14. Coolhart, D., Provancher, N., Hager, A., & Wang, M. (2008). Recommending transsexual clients for gender transition: A therapeutic tool for assessing readiness. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 4(3), 301–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Coolhart, D., Baker, A., Farmer, S., Melhaney, M., & Shipman, D. (2013). Therapy with transsexual youth and their families: A clinical tool for assessing youth’s readiness for gender transition. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(2), 223–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Coolhart, D., Ritenour, K., Grodzinski, A. (under review). Experiences of loss and ambiguous loss for parents of transgender male youth: A phenomenological exploration. Journal of GLBT Family Studies.Google Scholar
  17. Drescher, J. (2013). Invitation to a dialogue: Gender identity. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-gender-identity.html?_r=0.
  18. Ehrensaft, D. (2011). Gender born, gender made: Raising healthy gender-nonconforming children. New York: The Experiment.Google Scholar
  19. Ellis, K. M., & Eriksen, K. (2002). Transsexual and transgenderist experiences and treatment options. The Family Journal, 10(3), 289–299.  https://doi.org/10.1177/10680702010003005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Emerson, S. (1996). Stages of adjustment in family members of transgender individuals. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 7(3), 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J085V07N03_01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goldblum, P., Testa, R. J., Pflum, S., Hendricks, M. L., Bradford, J., & Bongar, B. (2012). The relationship between gender-based victimization and suicide attempts in transgender people. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(5), 468–475.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grant, J. M., Motett, L. A., Tanis, J., Harrison, J., Herman, J. L., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the national transgender discrimination survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.Google Scholar
  23. Hidalgo, M. A., Ehrensaft, D., Tishelman, A. C., Clark, L. F., Garofalo, R., Resenthal, S. M., Spack, N. P., & Olsen, J. (2013). The gender affirmative model: What we know and what we aim to learn. Human Development, 56, 285–290.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000355235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kenagy, G. P. (2005). The health and social service needs of transgender people in Philadelphia. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 49–56.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J485v08n02_05.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kuvalanka, K. A., Weiner, J. L., & Mahan, D. (2014). Child, family, and community transformations: Findings from interviews with mothers of transgender girls. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 10(4), 354–379.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2013.834529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lev, A. I. (2004). Transgender emergence: Therapeutic guidelines for working with gender variant people and their families. Binghamton: The Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  27. Malpas, J. (2011). Between pink and blue: A multi-dimensional family approach to gender nonconforming children and their families. Family Process, 50(4), 453–470.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2011.01371.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Meyer, I. H. (1995). Minority stress and mental health in gay men. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(1), 38–56.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Meyer, I. H. (2015). Resilience in the study of minority stress s and health of sexual and gender minorities. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(3), 209–213.  https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Newfield, E., Hart, S., Dibble, S., & Kohler, L. (2006). Female-to-male transgender quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 15, 1447–1457.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-006-0002-3.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Norwood, K. (2013). Grieving gender: Trans-identities, transition, and ambiguous loss. Communication Monographs, 80, 24–45.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2012.739705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nuttbrock, L., Hwahng, S., Bockting, W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., & Becker, J. (2010). Psychiatric impact of gender-related abuse across the life course of male-to-female transgender persons. Journal of Sex Research, 47(1), 12–23.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490903062258.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Raj, R. (2008). Transforming couples and families: A trans-formative therapeutic model for working with the loved-ones of gender-divergent youth and trans-identified adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 4(2), 133–163.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15504280802096765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ryan, C. R., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123(1), 346–352.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Ryan, C., Russell, S. T., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2010). Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4), 205–213.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6171.2010.00246.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Sevelius, J. M. (2013). Gender affirmation: A framework for conceptualizing risk behavior among transgender women of color. Sex Roles, 68(11–12), 675–689.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-012-0216-5.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Stone Fish, L., & Harvey, R. G. (2005). Nurturing queer youth: Family therapy transformed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  39. Travers, R., Bauer, G., Pyne, J., Bradley, K., Gale, L., Papadimitriou, M. (2012). Impacts of strong parental support for trans youth. A report prepared for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and Delisle Youth Services.Google Scholar
  40. Veldorale-Griffin, A. (2014). Transgender parents and their adult children’s experiences of disclosure and transition. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 10, 475–501.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2013.866063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wahlig, J. L. (2015). Losing the child they thought they had: Therapeutic suggestions for an ambiguous loss perspective with parents of a transgender child. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 11(4), 305–326.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2014.945676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Watson, R. J., Barnett, M. A., & Russell, S. T. (2015). Parental support matters for the educational success of sexual minorities. Journal of GLBT Family Studies.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2015.1028694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. White, T., & Ettner, R. (2004). Disclosure, risks and protective factors for children whose parents are undergoing a gender transition. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy, 8(1/2), 129–146.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J236v08n01_10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. White, T. J. H., & Ettner, R. I. (2007). Adaptation and adjustment in children of transsexual parents. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 16(4), 215–221.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-006-0591-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zamboni, B. D. (2006). Therapeutic considerations in working with the family, friends, and partners of transgendered individuals. The Family Journal, 14(2), 174–179.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480705285251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mudita Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA