Therapy with Transsexual Youth and Their Families: A Clinical Tool for Assessing Youth’s Readiness for Gender Transition
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
© 2012 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 223–243, April 2013
How to Cite
Coolhart, D., Baker, A., Farmer, S., Malaney, M. and 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, 223–243. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00283.x
Deborah Coolhart, PhD, LMFT; SUNY Empire State College, Community and Human Services; Syracuse University, Marriage and Family Therapy; Amanda Baker, Sara Farmer, Meaghan Malaney, and Dara Shipman, M.A., LMFT; Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University.
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care suggests a letter of recommendation be provided from a mental health professional if a transsexual desires hormone therapy or surgery. Therefore, transsexual clients have a unique dependence on therapists to obtain medical treatments needed to live life in their affirmed gender. Despite this need for therapeutic services, most therapists lack the training that is necessary to sensitively serve transsexual clients, particularly transsexual youth. While a published clinical assessment tool exists for therapists to determine readiness of adult transsexual clients for medical gender transition, no similar tool is available for therapists working with transsexual youth. This article discusses therapeutic issues specific to transsexual youth and families and presents a clinical assessment tool for determining transsexual youth’s readiness for medical treatments.