Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Role of School Counsellors and Psychologists in Supporting Transgender People

  • Damien W. Riggs (a1) and Clare Bartholomaeus (a1)
Abstract

As growing numbers of transgender people — including students, parents, and educators — become visible within schools, so comes with this the requirement that schools ensure their full inclusion. This article suggests that school counsellors and psychologists have an important role to play in supporting transgender people within schools. As an initial scoping of this suggestion, the article reports on findings from two Australian surveys: one focused on cisgender parents of transgender children, and one focused on cisgender school counsellors and psychologists in regard to their capacity for working with transgender people. The findings suggest that while the parent sample had largely negative experiences with school counsellors, the professional sample reported a high level of confidence in working with transgender people, although differences in gender and religiosity impacted upon school counsellors’ and psychologists’ acceptance of transgender people, and clinical knowledge for working with transgender people. The article concludes by advocating for ongoing training for school counsellors and psychologists in regard to working with transgender people, in addition to outlining the role that school counsellors and psychologists can play in facilitating a whole of school approach to transgender issues.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Role of School Counsellors and Psychologists in Supporting Transgender People
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Role of School Counsellors and Psychologists in Supporting Transgender People
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Role of School Counsellors and Psychologists in Supporting Transgender People
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Damien W. Riggs, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia. Email: damien.riggs@flinders.edu.au
References
Hide All
Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling. (2009) Competencies for counseling with transgender clients. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Australian Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools Association. (2013). An Australia wide comparison of school psychologists/counsellors/guidance officers 2013. Retrieved from http://www.agca.com.au/a_docs/APACS_AUSTRALIA_WIDE_COMPARISON_2013.docx
Balakumar, A. (2014, November 18). Isabelle is 11. She's an Australian girl born in a boy's body, and she's telling her story. mamamia. Retrieved from http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/four-corners-transgender-report/
Bowers, S., Lewandowski, J., Savage, T.A., & Woitaszewski, S.A. (2015). School psychologists’ attitudes toward transgender students. Journal of LGBT Youth, 12, 118. doi:10.1080/19361653.2014.930370
Case, K.A., & Meier, S.C. (2014). Developing allies to transgender and gender-nonconforming youth: Training for counselors and educators. Journal of LGBT Youth, 11, 6282. doi:10.1080/19361653.2014.840764
Chen-Hayes, S.F. (2001). Counseling and advocacy with transgendered and gender-variant persons in schools and families. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 40, 3448. doi:10.1002/j.2164-490X.2001.tb00100.x
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Goldblum, P., Testa, R.J., Pflum, S., Hendricks, M.L., Bradford, J., & Bongar, B. (2012). The relationship between gender-based victimization and suicide attempts in transgender people. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43, 468475. doi:10.1037/a0029605
Gonzalez, M., & McNulty, J. (2010). Achieving competency with transgender youth: School counsellors as collaborative advocates. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 4, 176186. doi:10.1080/15538605.2010.524841
Greytak, E.A., Kosciw, J.G., & Diaz, E.M. (2009). Harsh realities: The experiences of transgender youth in our nation's schools. New York: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Haines, B.A., Ajayi, A.A., & Boyd, H. (2014). Making trans parents visible: Intersectionality of trans and parenting identities. Feminism & Psychology, 24, 238247. doi:10.1177/0959353514526219
Hines, S. (2006). Intimate transitions: Transgender practices of partnering and parenting. Sociology, 40, 353371. doi:10.1177/0038038506062037
House, R.M., & Hayes, R.L. (2002). School counsellors: Becoming key players in school reform. Professional School Counseling, 5, 249256.
Hsieh, H.F., & Shannon, S.E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15, 12771288. doi:10.1177/1049732305276687
Johnson, D., Sikorski, J., Savage, T.A., & Woitaszewski, S.A. (2014). Parents of youth who identify as transgender: An exploratory study. School Psychology Forum, 8, 5674.
Jones, T., & Hillier, L. (2013). Comparing trans-spectrum and same-sex-attracted youth in Australia: Increased risks, increased activisms. Journal of LGBT Youth, 10, 287307. doi:10.1080/19361653.2013.825197
Jones, T., Smith, E., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Hillier, L., & Mitchell, A. (2015). School experiences of transgender and gender diverse students in Australia. Sex Education. doi:10.1080/14681811.2015.1080678
Kuvalanka, K.A., Weiner, J.L., & Mahan, D. (2014). Child, family, and community transformations: Findings from interviews with mothers of transgender girls. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 10, 354379. doi:10.1080/1550428X.2013.834529
Law, J., & Stott, R., (2014). Serious concerns raised about national chaplaincy program as government reaffirms commitment to initiative. news.com.au. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.news.com.au/national/serious-concerns-raised-about-national-school-chaplaincy-program-as-government-reaffirms-commitment-to-initiative/story-fncynjr2-1226961285904
McGuire, J.K., Anderson, C.R., Toomey, R.B., & Russell, S.T. (2010). School climate for transgender youth: A mixed method investigation of student experiences and school responses. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 11751188. doi:10.1007/s10964-010-9540-7
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (2014). Position statement: Safe schools for transgender and gender diverse students. Bethesda, MD: Author.
Preiss, B. (2015, May 31). Royal Children's Hospital transgender unit gets $6m boost to cut waiting list. The Age. Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/royal-childrens-hospital-transgender-unit-gets-6m-boost-to-cut-waiting-list-20150531-ghdkgd.html
Pullen Sansfaçon, A., Robichaud, M.J., & Dumais-Michaud, A.A. (2015). The experience of parents who support their children's gender variance. Journal of LGBT Youth, 12, 3963. doi:10.1080/19361653.2014.935555
Ratts, M.J., DeKruyf, L., & Chen-Hayes, S.F. (2007). The ACA advocacy competencies: A social justice advocacy framework for professional school counsellors. Professional School Counseling, 11, 9097.
Rehbein, R.N. (2012). Transition in conceptualizing the transgender experience: A measure of counselor attitudes (Masters thesis). Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL.
Riggs, D.W., Power, J., & von Doussa, H. (in press). Parenting and Australian trans and gender diverse people: An exploratory survey. International Journal of Transgenderism.
Riggs, D.W., Coleman, K., & Due, C. (2014). Healthcare experiences of gender diverse Australians: A mixed-methods, self-report survey. BMC Public Health, 14, 230234. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-230
Riggs, D.W., & Due, C. (2015). Support experiences and attitudes of parents of gender variant children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 19992007. doi:10.1007/s10826-014-9999-z
Ryan, D., & Martin, A. (2000). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents in the school systems. School Psychology Review, 29, 207216.
Singh, A.A., & Burnes, T.R. (2009). Creating developmentally appropriate, safe counseling environments for transgender youth: The critical role of school counsellors. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 3, 215234. doi:10.1080/15538600903379457
Singh, A.A., Urbano, A., Haston, M., & McMahon, E. (2010). School counsellors’ strategies for social justice change: A grounded theory of what works in the real world. Professional School Counseling, 13, 135145.
Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From blues to rainbows: The mental health and well-being of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University.
Walch, S.E., Ngamake, S.T., Francisco, J., Stitt, R.L., & Shingler, K.A. (2012). The Attitudes Toward Transgendered Individuals Scale: Psychometric properties. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 12831291. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9995-6
Walzer, A.J. (2015). School psychologists’ knowledge of and attitudes toward transgender students (Master's thesis). Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ.
Wells, K., & Tsutsumi, L.M. (2005). Creating safe, caring and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students: A guide for counsellors. Alberta, Canada: The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities.
Wyss, S.E. (2004). ‘This was my hell’: The violence experienced by gender nonconforming youth in U.S. high schools. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 17, 709730. doi:10.1080/0951839042000253676
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Educational and Developmental Psychologist
  • ISSN: 2059-0776
  • EISSN: 2059-0784
  • URL: /core/journals/educational-and-developmental-psychologist
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed