Monday, August 31, 2015

New American Psychological Assn Guidelines On Trans and Non Gender Conforming Folks

The American Psychological Association has released a 55-page document detailing guidelines for psychologists treating transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals. 
The purpose of the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People (hereafter Guidelines) is to assist psychologists in the provision of culturally competent, developmentally appropriate, and trans‐affirmative psychological practice with TGNC people. Trans‐affirmative practice is the provision of care that is respectful, aware, and supportive of the identities and life experiences of TGNC people.
Here are the new guidelines:
  1. Psychologists understand that gender is a non‐binary construct that allows for a range of gender identities and that a person’s gender identity may not align with sex assigned at birth.
  2. Psychologists understand that gender identity and sexual orientation are distinct but interrelated constructs.
  3. Psychologists seek to understand how gender identity intersects with the other cultural identities of TGNC people.
  4. Psychologists are aware of how their attitudes about and knowledge of gender identity and gender expression may affect the quality of care they provide to TGNC people and their families.
  5. Psychologists recognize how stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and violence affect the health and well‐being of TGNC people.
  6. Psychologists strive to recognize the influence of institutional barriers on the lives of TGNC people and to assist in developing TGNC‐affirmative environments.
  7. Psychologists understand the need to promote social change that reduces the negative effects of stigma on the health and well‐being of TGNC people.
  8. Psychologists working with gender questioning and TGNC youth understand the different developmental needs of children and adolescents and that not all youth will persist in a TGNC identity into adulthood.
  9. Psychologists strive to understand both the particular challenges that TGNC elders experience and the resilience they can develop.
  10. Psychologists strive to understand how mental health concerns may or may not be related to a TGNC person’s gender identity and the psychological effects of minority stress.
  11. Psychologists recognize that TGNC people are more likely to experience positive life outcomes when they receive social support or trans‐affirmative care.
  12. Psychologists strive to understand the effects that changes in gender identity and gender expression have on the romantic and sexual relationships of TGNC people.
  13. Psychologists seek to understand how parenting and family formation among TGNC people take a variety of forms.
  14. Psychologists recognize the potential benefits of an interdisciplinary approach when providing care to TGNC people and strive to work collaboratively with other providers.
  15. Psychologists respect the welfare and rights of TGNC participants in research and strive to represent results accurately and avoid misuse or misrepresentation of findings.
  16. Psychologists seek to prepare trainees in psychology to work competently with TGNC people.
In the past, some psychologists have attempted to change gender identity (as well as sexual orientation) through so-called "conversion therapy" or other coercive means. The APA’s statement, in effect, states very strongly that attempts to change gender identity should not be attempted. In this statement, the APA underscores the need for ethical treatment of transgender people and of affirming transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Thanks to Open Minded Health for blogging on the APA document.

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