Many clinicians report struggling with how to approach working with gender diverse youth and their families, especially when caregivers are struggling to understand or possibly accept their child’s gender diversity. Given the current focus on gender affirming care, the push to restrict it’s access in many locations, and the limited number of clinicians who feel competent to work with these clients, it is important that all mental health care providers have a basic understanding of the issues at hand and how to collaboratively work with these youth and their families.
Gender diverse youth and their families are currently experiencing great difficulty finding competent clinicians who are well-versed in the skills needed to help them. They are confused by all the conflicting information as are the clinicians trying to support them. The result is less access to care and an increase in minority stress that is shown to negatively impact physical and mental health, as well as overall well-being and success in life.
All the data on family support show a profound shift toward positive outcomes when their family is supportive. Given the importance of family on the overall mental health of gender diverse clients, it is imperative that we include them in our work and that we do so in a supportive and healing way.If you work with gender diverse people or their families, or like may clinicians, your client comes out to you after you’ve already established a relationship, it is imperative to know how to work with the family system surrounding your client.