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The Top 6 Books for Counsellors Working with Transgender Clients

Transgender and gender variant clients have unique needs that are rarely addressed in general resources for counsellors and therapists. These books, from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, are intended for practitioners working directly with gender variant people and offer guidance and information on the specific challenges that this group faces. Practical, research-based and accessible, these books will help you to improve your practice and to better understand your clients.

The introduction to gender variance

How to Understand Your Gender

A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are

Alex Iantaffi & Meg-John Barker

£14.99 / ISBN: 9781785927461

A good starting point for practitioners who are new to working with transgender clients, this guide is for anybody who wants to know more about gender; from its biology, history and sociology, to how it plays a role in our relationships and interactions with family, friends, partners and strangers.

With activities and points for reflection throughout, this book will help people of all genders engage with gender diversity and explore the ideas in the book in relation to their own lived experiences.

'For anyone who's ever wished they had a smart, kind, friend with whom they could calmly and safely discuss gender issues: this most excellent book is that kind of friend'.

- Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw


The gender counselling skills bible

Counselling Skills for Working with Gender Diversity and Identity

Michael Beattie and Penny Lenihan with Robin Dundas

£25.00 / ISBN: 9781785927416

If you only buy one book, it should be this one.

Emphasising the need for affirmative practice in gender care, it provides an overview of the subject areas and process issues which most commonly arise in counselling, combining theoretical with practical perspectives. It explores the diverse range of identities including masculinity, femininity, non-binary, gender dysphoria, trans and cisgender.

Including case studies, interactive exercises and suggested reading lists, it forms a practical toolbox that any counsellor of gender issues can utilise.


Working with teens and young people

Counseling Transgender and Non-Binary Youth

The Essential Guide

Irwin Krieger

£22.99 / ISBN: 9781785927430

Krieger offers essential information needed to work with transgender teens at what can be the most critical and problematic stage in a trans person's life. Points of discussion include puberty, mental health, sexuality, family life, social and medical transition

'Irwin Krieger has given us a comprehensive gender GPS for youths' gender discovery. Using his professional wisdom and personal compassion, he has written a volume that should be on the bookshelf of every mental health professional committed to providing youth with every opportunity to be their most authentic gender selves.'

- Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D., Director of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Gender Center


Understanding trans youth from their perspectives

Improving Services for Transgender and Gender Variant Youth

Research, Policy and Practice for Health and Social Care Professionals

Tiffany Jones

£25.00 / ISBN: 9781785924255

A practical guide that is grounded in first-hand accounts from trans youth.

Exploring four key areas - mental health, physical health, sexual health and social health - it sets out exactly what professionals need to know in relation to these areas and how to support trans youth in these circumstances.


Working with survivors of sexual abuse

Working with Trans Survivors of Sexual Violence

A Guide for Professionals

Sally Rymer and Valentina Cartei

£16.99 / ISBN: 9781785927607

This evidence-based book helps practitioners understand how the trauma of sexual violence impacts on trans people and how their specific needs are not met by services that are available for cisgendered survivors.

The authors take a critical look at what can be done to reduce discrimination against the trans community and provide effective advice on how practitioners can support their trans clients.


The gender counselling deep dive

Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice

A New Model for Understanding Gender

S.J. Langer

£24.99 / ISBN: 9781785927652

Drawing on theories from a range of different fields including psychoanalysis, philosophy, neuroscience, consciousness studies, trauma therapy, sex therapy, gender theory, disability studies and trans studies, this book illustrates how informed clinical practice can recognise the complexity of gender identity and expression.

It moves beyond the medical model to advance an understanding of transgender subjectivity as a natural variation of gender in humans.

‘This book goes beyond "Trans 101," exploring in much more depth the development of the gendered self and the role of gender in consciousness. With roots in both psychoanalytic and academic worlds, Langer provides clinicians with new ways of theorizing gender that both benefit from these traditions and push them forward.'

- Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, LGBTQ psychiatrist and writer

For more books for professionals on gender diversity, mental health, counselling and more,

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