Research evidence indicates that the therapeutic relationship is the most important predictor of success in therapy, regardless of the theoretical approach used by the therapist. Most therapists and counselors strive to have a strong therapeutic alliance with their clients, as this is the container for the work that happens in and between sessions. However, several factors can get in the way of that therapeutic relationship. Factors such as therapist’s identity, lived experience, comfort with and knowledge of the clients’ identities and lived experiences can be incredibly influential throughout the therapeutic process. When a trans and/or nonbinary client enters the room, they do not do this in a vacuum. This means that they might be worried, for example, about whether they will be pathologized or not, given the long history of transphobia in our field. In this webinar I will outline issues that might bring trans and/or nonbinary people to seek relationship and couple counseling. I will address how to use a systemic approach to provide affirmative care to trans and/or nonbinary clients and their partners and families. Some of the topics covered include: nurturing resilience for trans and/or nonbinary providers; establishing communities of accountability for cis providers; addressing assumptions within couple and family systems; transition as a dynamic and relational process; the intersection of trans and/or nonbinary identities with other aspects of identities and experiences, such as race, ethnicity, class, disability status, sexuality, and spirituality. Throughout the webinar I will use snapshots of clinical vignettes to illustrate the issues discussed.
- Describe the span of issues that trans and non-binary clients and their families bring to relationship and couple counseling
- List 4 factors that contribute to affirmative care
- Explain how gender intersects with other aspects of identities and experiences in the therapy room.
- 30 minutes Definitions and terminology
- 30 minutesTheoretical framework
- 45 minutes What is affirmative care
- 15 minutes Reflexivity and our own identities as therapists
- 15 minutes Addressing assumptions
- 15 minutes Transition as a dynamic and relational process
- 25 minutes Intersection of gender with other aspects of identities and experiences
- 5 minutes Conclusions
Clinical vignettes will be used throughout to illustrate the points addressed in the presentation
Alex Lantaffi is a certified sex therapist, family therapist, Somatic ExperiencingⓇ practitioner, clinical supervisor, writer, and independent scholar. They are adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the chair elect for the Trans and Queer interest network of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. They were the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy for eleven years and have researched, presented, and published extensively on gender, disability, sexuality, relationships, and HIV. Alex is passionate about healing justice and community-based and engaged scholarship. They are a trans masculine, nonbinary, bi queer, disabled, Italian immigrant who has been living on Dakota and Anishinaabe territories, currently known as Minneapolis, MN (US) since 2008. Alex has co-authored the books “How to UnderstandYour Gender: a practical guide for exploring who you are” and “Life Isn’t Binary” with Meg-John Barker (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). They host the podcast Gender Stories. You can find out more about them at www.alexiantaffi.com or follow them on Twitter @xtaffi