Professional recommendations on individual psychotherapy techniques for working with transgender and nonbinary clients regarding minority stress: A Delphi study

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan Anne Moomaw (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Jonathan Campbell

Abstract: This project is an analysis of current professional methods used by mental health professionals who work with transgender and nonbinary individuals in individual psychotherapy. Because of the minority status these individuals have, they are subjected to minority stress which can lead to increases in depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidal ideation (Mueller, 2020). Minority Stress is defined as harassment and discrimination, perceived negative stereotypes about minority identities, and internalized transphobia or negative thoughts of self, based in minority identities (Meyer, 2003; Hendricks & Testa, 2012). While the need for therapeutic services for transgender and nonbinary individuals is widely recognized, there is little to no empirically backed methodologies for helping these individuals cope with minority stress. This project’s purpose was to compile expert practices currently being used and create a consensus on the best methodologies to create the possibility for future research on agreed upon techniques. Results from the study suggested that professionals find person-centered techniques (e.g. validation, acceptance, empathy) to be the most helpful interventions. Additionally, the importance of advocacy and community as well as material support were highly rated suggestions by experts. Experts were also asked about the assessments they use to measure the success of these interventions and rated basing success on the client’s level of comfort with themselves and ability to cope with difficulties as the most helpful forms of assessment. Future research should attempt to create statistical evidence for the effectiveness of these techniques and should explore how those in treatment feel about these techniques.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Minority Stress, Nonbinary, Psychotherapy, Therapy Techniques, Transgender
Stress (Psychology)
LGBTQIA+ people
Non-binary people
Gender-nonconforming people
Transgender people

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