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 Leadership
APA Resources on Transgender People and Issues
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.
April 2013

Policies and Practices
Other Resources