Transgender Identity Issues in Psychology
Transgender and gender-variant people have a variety of concerns for which they may seek the assistance of psychologists. In addition to the usual problems that may bring any individual to therapy, transgender and gender-variant people often seek professional help in understanding their gender identities and patterns of gender expression and in addressing the complex social and relational issues that are affected by these.
Transgender persons not uncommonly seek medical services to make their bodies more congruent with their gender identities; involvement of mental health professionals is often necessary or desirable in arranging such services. Moreover, many transgender and gender-variant people experience stigmatization and discrimination as a result of living in a gendered culture into which they often do not easily fit. They may not only experience an inner sense of not belonging but also discrimination, harassment, sometimes lethal violence and denial of basic human rights. These issues, too, often bring transgender people into contact with mental health professionals.
From the Introduction to Transgender Issues, Report of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance
APA Resources on Transgender People and Issues
- Foundations for Psychological Practice with Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Clients
This online continuing education course provides basic information about trans-affirmative approaches to research, supervision and clinical work.
Online course | 1 credit
- Answers to your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression (o versión en español) is an introductory brochure developed for a general audience to help with most frequently asked questions about this topic. (Previously titled "Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity.")
- Report by the Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance
The six-member task force spent more than two years reviewing the scientific literature, as well as APA policies regarding transgender issues. It was also charged with developing recommendations for education, professional training and further research into transgenderism, and proposing how APA can best meet the needs of psychologists and students who identify as transgender or gender-variant.
- Div. 44 Committee for Transgender People and Gender Diversity
APA Resolution Supporting Full Equality for Transgender and Gender-variant People
The Resolution on Transgender, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Nondiscrimination calls on APA to:
Support legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression
Support the provision of adequate and medically necessary treatment for transgender and gender-variant people
Recognize the benefit and necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals
Call on public and private insurers to cover these treatments
Task Force on Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients
Monitor on Psychology
Transgender today: throughout history, transgender people have been misunderstood and seldom studied. That's beginning to change.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Federal Workplace
Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration DIRECTIVE 2011-024
Providing Health Care for Transgender and Intersex Veterans
June 9, 2011
This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive establishes policy regarding the respectful delivery of health care to transgender and intersex Veterans who are enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system or are otherwise eligible for VA care.
U.S. State Department Policy on Gender Change in Passports, June 9, 2010
When a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender.
Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers
A Joint Publication of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Transgender Equality
Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault
Office of Justice Programs/Office for Victims of Crime
Includes tips for those who serve victims.
Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
This discussion paper aims to inform UNDP's work on transgender health and human right to foster greater understanding on the health and human rights issues that impact trans people and consequently influence their social marginalization.
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, Feb. 3, 2011
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that transgender and gender nonconforming people face discrimination in every area of life.
Conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Transgender Day of Remembrance and Week of Awareness
- Transgender Day of Remembrance is on Nov. 20, and Transgender Awareness Week takes place during that week. It is a time for honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in anti-transgender violence and for transgender people and their allies to take action by educating the public and advancing advocacy to bring attention to this community and the unique challenges they face.
- Young Adult Psychological Outcome After Puberty Suppression and Gender Reassignment
Pediatrics, September 2014
In recent years, puberty suppression by means of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs has become accepted in clinical management of adolescents who have gender dysphoria (GD). This study is the first longer-term longitudinal evaluation of the effectiveness of this approach.
Special Issue: The Treatment of Gender Dysphoric/Gender Variant (GD/GV) Children and Adolesecents
Journal of Homosexuality, Volume 59, Issue 3, 2012
- Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth
Pediatrics, Feb. 20, 2012
Children and Adolescents With Gender Identity Disorder Referred to a Pediatric Medical CenterPediatrics, Feb. 20, 2012
Gender Variant Children and Transgender Adolescents, a special issue of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America; October 2011, Volume 20, Issue 4.
Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Transgender People: Findings from a National Probability Sample of U.S. Adults
Sex Roles: A Journal of Research
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole delivers remarks at the Community Relations Service Transgender Law Enforcement Training Launch
March 27, 2014
'I am a girl': Transgender children face a society slow to accept them
Kansas City Star, Feb. 8, 2014
Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD, is quoted. Edwards-Leeper is a member of the APA Task Force on Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients.
New Gender Dysphoria Criteria Replace GID
Psychiatric News, April 5, 2013
New criteria for gender dysphoria will emphasize the individual's felt sense of "incongruence" with natal gender, rather than cross-gender behavior. This article is part of a series on the differences between DSM-IV and DSM-5. The series will run through May, when the manual will be published.
Transgender today: Throughout history, transgender people have been misunderstood and seldom studied. That's beginning to change.
Monitor on Psychology®, April 2013