Experiences of therapy for transgender non-conforming individuals: a therapist's perspective

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Clarke, Mary
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this research was to explore what occurs in the therapeutic space between transgender clients and their therapists from a psychotherapeutic perspective. Although there has been much research into the experiences of transgender clients, there has been less research into the experience and views of the therapist. This qualitative study explored the experiences of five psychotherapists who work with transgender clients. They talk about accompanying their transgender clients on a journey as they emerge into their authentic selves and assisting them in discovering their true identity and their place in the world. Acknowledging their difficulties, the participants talk honestly about moving from nonacceptance of their clients to acceptance as well as their ongoing fears of making mistakes and getting it wrong. They also discussed the rights and wrongs of expecting their clients to educate them as they learn the language and culture of transgenderism.