Clinical Work with LGBTQIA+ Youth and Families
Gender Affirmative Care
Gender affirmative care is considered best practice in working with youth and families across settings. The American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, all endorse this approach as most protective for youth and their families when examining long term medical and mental health outcomes. Gender diverse youth who are affirmed in their identity have mental health outcomes much like those of their cisgender peers. Those who are not affirmed experience significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and risk for self-harm (source: The Trevor Project)
Read more about gender affirmative therapy with youth and families here
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: "Gender Affirming Care is Trauma Informed Care"
Gender Affirmative Clinical Practices at Harvey Feldman Counseling
Gender Affirmative clinical work at Harvey Feldman Counseling begins with the idea that a child or adolescent is best equipped to understand who they are. HFC prioritizes support for youth's gender exploration in a safe, affirmative space. Affirmation includes seeing gender diversity as an integral part of human experience, not as an expression of pathology; correctly situating minority stress and its impact on overall functioning, and challenging internal biases regarding compulsory heterosexuality and/or cisgenderism.
HFC works closely with family systems in order to support all in understanding and affirming a child or adolescent's identity. Family work and family therapy are integral parts of the process of helping gender diverse youth understand themselves and thrive.
HFC sees partnership with schools, medical providers, and other community resources as essential in supporting youth. HFC can work with parents and/or guardians to establish short term communication as necessary in order to reduce barriers for expression of gender authentically and safely.
HFC also works with families in the exploration of gender affirming medical care, including puberty blockers and/or cross hormone therapy.