Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Summer 7-22-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Bryana French


APA’s Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People (2015) point to a lack of appropriate and non-sensationalizing training resources for psychologists, and that continuing education and training should be developed to address these gaps. Transgender individuals have specific and important therapeutic needs separate from the LGB population, thus information about personal experiences will help guide appropriate psychological trainings and interventions (Singh & dickey, 2017; APA, 2009). To address this need, this dissertation used qualitative methods to explore a two-fold purpose: 1) understand the lived experiences of transgender-identified individuals in psychotherapy and, 2) explore psychologists’ perspectives of providing transgender-affirmative therapy. A total of nine individuals participated in this study: eight generalist psychologists and one transgender identified client. Phenomenological interviews were used to explore affirmative therapy from grounded, participant perspectives. In-depth interview techniques explored psychologists’ experiences of providing therapy to transgender clients and one transgender client’s experiences of receiving therapy. Four themes were identified: (1) Understanding and Affirming Gender Identity, (2) Application in Therapy, (3) Presence of Microaggressions, and (4) Training. Existing research regarding inadequate training was supported as participants reported being underprepared for working with gender minoritized populations. Implications for counseling and training were reviewed for both psychologists and clients. Suggestions for future research, training, and continuing education were provided.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.