Best practices for working with transgender clients in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare


Research suggests that simply identifying an individual as transgender does not necessarily indicate the existence of other mental health concerns. However, many transgender adolescents experience significant psychosocial and mental health concerns, which are likely due to the challenges faced by youth with nonconforming gender identity and expression. Though issues related to gender identity are rarely the primary reason why individuals seek mental health treatment, it is important for mental health practitioners to possess some knowledge of the issues affecting the transgender community to provide effective treatment. This paper examines the clinical needs of youth who identify as transgender, and best practices for working with transgender clients in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare. Recommendations for best practices include ensuring that clinicians and other staff members are adequately educated on issues related to gender identity, examining bias on a personal and institutional level, taking corrective action to create more trans-affirming environments, and promoting client self-determination and voice before and during treatment. In addition, more research on the topic of transgender clients in mental health treatment, and specifically in OBH programs, is needed to better inform clinical practice.


Social Work

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Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs



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