Bridging the Gap Between Practice Guidelines and the Therapy Room: Community-Derived Practice Adaptations for Psychological Services with Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults in the Central United States
Date of this Version
Published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice (2022) Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 351–361.
Individuals who identify as transgender and gender diverse (TGD) are presenting at mental health clinicians’ offices with increasing frequency. Many TGD clients are seeking care related to affirming their gender identity but also may present with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, or other problems forwhich a clinician may commonly provide services. Some clinicians may hesitate to accept TGD clients into their practice if they have little specialized training to work with this population in an affirming manner, especially in more underserved areas where a generalist practice is the norm. Numerous professional associations and experts have developed guidelines for affirmative behavioral health care for TGDpeople.However, what is needed are community-informed recommendations to bridge from the official guidelines to clinicians’ in-session activities. The Trans Collaborations Practice Adaptations for Psychological Interventions for Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults are derived from iterative interviews with TGD community members and affirming mental health clinicians in the Central United States. The 12 practice adaptations are intended to guide clinicians to adapt their usual treatment approach to be TGD affirming, especially in underserved and rural areas. The practice adaptations cover numerous aspects of practice including the office setting and paperwork, understanding gender identity and incorporating it into the case conceptualization, therapist’s self-awareness, and referrals. The Trans Collaborations Practice Adaptations will help clinicians work confidently and competently with adult TGD clients, regardless of the presenting problem, to ensure TGD communities receive the best interventions for their behavioral health concerns.
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