Title

Self-Acceptance of Transgender Identities: A Narrative Re-Storying Through Photos

Conference Strand

Identity Formation

Abstract

Identities are formed and change throughout the lifespan. Gender non-conforming and transgender individuals, often experience a markedly different internal identity than is expected of their gender expression and identity in society. Three individuals share through interview and photos, their journey of self-acceptance, and expressions of individuality in this narrative qualitative study.

Description

Transgender and other non-gender binary identifying persons have historically experienced oppression in social, personal, and intrapersonal realms in a variety of contexts (American Psychological Association [APA], 2015; Ehrensaft, 2011). The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, 2012), and The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (2016) concludes that transgender individuals are at a higher risk than the general population for a variety of mental health issues (James et. al, 2016). Transgender individuals deserve clinical attention by the counseling community, and a shifting of the socio-political paradigm through advocacy (Burnes et al., 2009).

While mental health concerns are found to be high in transgender populations (APA, 2015, James et al. 2016) transition to the gender with which the individual identifies, and acceptance and support in one’s community has proven to decrease risk of suicidal ideation, and promote positive mental health outcomes (APA, 2015; Olsen, et al., 2016, Singh, Hays, & Watson, 2011). The goal of this presentation is to share this qualitative, narrative research study, which explores the stories of transgender individuals on their journey of self-acceptance, including the experience of coming out in family and society, the stages of self-acceptance and, narrative re-storying. This presentation will provide attendees with: 1. A review of the literature pertaining to best practices for working with families with transgender individuals, 2. Re-storying of the coming out and acceptance process of transgender individuals through photos, 3 Themes found that participants shared during data collection and analysis, 4. Advocacy ideas for and with transgender individuals and their support systems.

Evidence

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American Psychological Association (APA). (2015). Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/transgender.pdf

Ålgars, M., Alanko, K., Santtila, P., & Sandnabba, N. K. (2012). Disordered Eating and Gender Identity Disorder: A Qualitative Study. Eating Disorders, 20(4), 300- 311.doi:10.1080/10640266.2012.668482

Benson, K. E. (2013). Seeking support: Transgender client experiences with mental healthservices. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy: An International Forum, 25(1), 17-40. doi:10.1080/08952833.2013.755081

Bidell, M. P. (2012). Examining school counseling students' multicultural and sexual orientation competencies through a cross-specialization comparison. Journal of Counseling & Development, 90(2), 200-207.

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. doi:10.1300/J485v09n03•03

Burnes, T. R., Singh, A. A., Harper, A., Pickering, D. L., Moundas, S., Scofield, T., Hosea, J. (2009). Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in

Counseling (ALGBTIC) Competencies for Counseling with Transgender Clients. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/docs/defaultsource/competencies/algbtic_competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=8

Coleman, E., Bockting, W., Botzer, M., Cohen-Kettenis, P., DeCuypere, G., Feldman, J. ... &Monstrey, S. (2012). Standards of care for the health of transsexual transgender, and gender-nonconforming people, version 7.International Journal of Transgenderism, 13(4), 165-232.

Connolly, M. D., Zervos, M. J., Barone, C. I., Johnson, C. C., & Joseph, C. M. (2016). The mental health of transgender youth: Advances in understanding. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 59(5), 489-495. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.06.012

Coolhart, D., & Shipman, D. L. (2017). Working toward family attunement: Family therapy with transgender and gender-nonconforming children and adolescents. Psychiatric Clinics Of North America, 40(1), 113-125. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2016.10.002

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. (2009),The 2009 CACREP Standards. Alexandria, VA: Author. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cacrep.org/doc/2009%20Standards%20with%20cover.pdf

De Vries, A. A., McGuire, J. K., Steensma, T. D., Wagenaar, E. F., Doreleijers, T. H., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2014). Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment. Pediatrics, 134(4), 696-704. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2958

Ehrensaft, D. (2011). Gender born, gender made: Raising healthy gender-nonconforming children.

Grossman, A. H., & D'Augelli, A. R. (2007). Transgender youth and life‐threateningbehaviors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 37(5), 527-537.

Hendricks, M. L., & Testa, R. J. (2012). A conceptual framework for clinical work with transgender and gender nonconforming clients: An adaptation of the minority stress model. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 43(5), 460-467. doi:10.1037/a0029597

Human Rights Campaign, (2016). Supporting and caring for transgender children.Retrieved from http://www.hrc.org/resources/supporting-caring-for-transgender-children.

James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The report of the 2015 U.S. transgender survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.

Kirk, J., & Belovics, R. (2008). Understanding and counseling transgender clients. Journal of Employment Counseling, 45(1), 29.

Kozee, H. B., Tylka, T. L., & Bauerband, L. A. (2012). Measuring transgender individuals’ comfort with gender identity and appearance: Development and validation of the transgender Congruence Scale. Psychology of Women Quarterly, (36) 179–196.

Lambda Legal. (2013). Making the case for equality. Retrieved from http://www.lambdalegal.org/.

Lewis, J., Arnold, M., House, R., & Toporek, R. (2003). Advocacy competencies.Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/resources/competencies/advocacy_competencies.pdf

Jones, B. A., Haycraft, E., Murjan, S., & Arcelus, J. (2016). Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating in trans people: A systematic review of the literature. International Review Of Psychiatry, 28(1), 81-94. doi:10.3109/09540261.2015.1089217.

Olson, K. R., Durwood, L., DeMeules, M., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2016). Mental health of transgender children who are supported in their identities. Pediatrics, 137(3), 1.doi:10.1542/peds.2015-3223

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2016). Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies: Guidelines for the Counseling

Profession. Journal Of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 44(1), 28-48.doi:10.1002/jmcd.12035

Reisner, S. L., Vetters, R., Leclerc, M., Zaslow, S., Wolfrum, S., Shumer, D., & Mimiaga, M. J.(2015). Mental health of transgender youth in care at an adolescent urban community health center: A matched retrospective cohort study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56, 207–279. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.264

Singh, A. A., Hays, D. G., & Watson, L. S. (2011). Strength in the face of adversity:Resilience strategies of transgender individuals. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 20-27.

Sue, D. W., Arredondo, P., & McDavis, R. J. (1992). Multicultural Counseling Competencies and Standards: A Call to the Profession. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 70(4), 477-486.

Thompson, J. K., & Stice, E. (2001). Thin-Ideal internalization: Mounting evidence for a new risk factor for body-image disturbance and eating pathology. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 10(5), 181.

Witcomb, G.L., Bouman, W.P., Brewin, N., Richards, C., Fernandez-Aranda, F. & Arcelus, J. (2015). Body image dissatisfaction and eating-related psychopathology in trans individuals: A matched control study. European Eating Disorders Review, (23), 287–293.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (2012). Standards of care for the health of transsexual, and gender-nonconforming people. International Journal of Transgenderism, 13(4), 165-232. doi: 10.1080/15532739.2011.700873

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Bonnie King, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, is an Assistant Professor at Midwestern State University in the Department of Counseling, Kinesiology, and Special Education. She also works in a small private practice in Dallas, Texas. Her research and teaching interests include best practices for counseling transgender client populations, international counseling, and counseling in green space. Dr. King attended the University of New Orleans, and worked in an international school counseling role in Viet Nam. She has counseling experience in school counseling, drug rehabilitation, private practice, and community mental health settings.

Elise Johns, Ph.D., LPC­S, NCC is an Assistant Professor at Nicholls State University in the Department of Psychology, Counseling and Family Studies. She holds a doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of New Orleans and a master's in Counseling Psychology from Troy University. Dr. Johns has clinical experience in outpatient mental health treatment, grief counseling, crisis intervention, training clinics, and private practice. Dr. Johns has maintained a private practice in New Orleans for the past 5 years. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor Approved Supervisor and a National Certified Counselor. Dr. Johns' research and teaching interests include multicultural competencies, LGBTIQA, spirituality, and ethical competencies of clinicians working with terminally ill clients.

Kristen Dickens Ph.D., NCC, ACS is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University in the Counselor Education Program. Her current research interests include multiple roles and relationships in counselor education, ethics and value conflicts, multicultural issues in counseling, and family systems work. Dr. Dickens has experience working in a variety of community mental health settings, including intensive outpatient facilities, university outpatient centers, inpatient treatment centers for eating disorders, and in-home counseling services.

Location

ELAB 238

Start Date

2-8-2019 2:30 PM

End Date

2-8-2019 3:45 PM

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Feb 8th, 2:30 PM Feb 8th, 3:45 PM

Self-Acceptance of Transgender Identities: A Narrative Re-Storying Through Photos

ELAB 238

Identities are formed and change throughout the lifespan. Gender non-conforming and transgender individuals, often experience a markedly different internal identity than is expected of their gender expression and identity in society. Three individuals share through interview and photos, their journey of self-acceptance, and expressions of individuality in this narrative qualitative study.