Gender Identity and the Family Story: A Critical Analysis
Benson, Kristen Edith
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This research explored how transgender people and their partners experience the process of disclosing their gender identity, experiences of mental health, and how couple and family therapists can be helpful to relationships involving transgender people. The purpose of this study was to better understand transgender relationships to prepare couple and family therapists to work with this population. Participants were seven self-identified transgender people and three of their partners. In-depth interviews were used to explore experiences of transgender peopleâ s relationships. Nine themes were identified: decision to disclose, the road to acceptance, perceptions of sexual orientation, change, delineating between purposes for seeking mental health services, belief that therapists are not well-informed about transgender issues, value of well-informed therapists, couple and family therapists should be well-informed, and loved ones understanding of gender identity. This study provides insight into transgender peopleâ s relational issues relevant to couple and family therapy. Phenomenological, narrative and feminist lenses provide frameworks to view these findings. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations