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New Book Explores Transgender Care Best Practices For Mental Health Professionals

An upcoming book aims to combat mental healthcare disparities in the transgender community by teaching mental health providers a comprehensive approach to caring for transgender patients. Adult Transgender Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Training Mental Health Professionals emphasizes the intersections of psychiatry, psychology, and social work that are key to providing integrated care for transgender individuals.

The books editors, Michael R. Kauth and Jillian C. Shipherd, are both clinical psychologists with backgrounds in VA care facilities and have worked extensively with veterans. Transgender veterans in particular face unique challenges when accessing culturally competent mental and physical healthcare.

Ruben Hopwood, MDiv, PhD, Coordinator of Fenway Health’s Transgender Health Program, authored chapter five of this book, titled “Supporting the Transgender Individual in Deciding their Pathway.”

“Gender identity is not static or fixed and has fluidity across the lifespan,” Hopwood wrote in his chapter. “Though a binary system remains the dominant narrative and expectation amongst most cultures, gender identity may be more clearly understood as a type of continuum, spectrum, or constellation comprised of many overlapping personality traits and aptitudes, each of which may be categorized as more or less masculine or feminine, according to particular cultures and customs.”

“It is the job of mental health professionals to help transgender individuals alleviate [psychological] distress and support exploration and working out of life challenges,” he added.

Adult Transgender Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Training Mental Health Professionals will be released on October 20 and is available for preorder now.

“This book offers some great perspective on transgender healthcare, and it’s valuable because it comes from a different place than most transgender health conversations – here, we’re hearing from people working with vets in a VA setting,” said Hopwood.

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