Transgender, Gender Queer, Two-Spirit and Intersex: Ethical Mental Health Services with Gender Variant Clients

Course materials are available as articles, and audio with transcripts.

From soldiers to rock-stars to Olympic champions and tennis pros, to children of celebrities and writers of block buster movies, transgender people inhabit every aspect of our cultural landscape. It is essential for those in the mental health and medical health fields to have a clear understanding of how to offer effective, ethical and competent services to transgender people and their loved ones.

This is a foundational course that includes five MP3s with text transcripts and two articles. The first article discusses terminology related to gender orientation. The second article looks at the history of psychology and how it has responded to the transgender individual and those whose gender has not conformed with that of their biological sex. In the next two MP3s, Dr. Kotulski discusses the APA’s frequently asked questions about transgender people, and also the APA’s FAQs about intersex conditions and the intersexed population. The fifth article explores current and past legal issues facing the transgender individuals. There are then two audio interviews, one with transgender advocate and past President of World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), Jamison Green, Ph.D. The second recorded interview is with transgender educator, Kari McAllister. Also available are two additional, yet optional, articles and extensive resources for further study.

Educational Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the coming out process transgender individuals and their loved one's experience.
  • Differentiate sexual orientation, gender identify, biological sex, and the spectrum of gender presentation.
  • Utilize effective evaluation strategies and treatment recommendations for clients presenting with gender dysphoria or other gender-variant concerns.
  • Recommend appropriate resources and support for parents, family members and transgender clients.
  • Distinguish between internal mental health concerns and those related to external sources impacting the client.
  • Identify key issues impacting transgender individuals.


  • Transgender 101: Terminology and Coming Out Issues
    • Understanding Gender and the Transgender Experience
    • Understanding the Issues Facing Transgender Americans
  • Transgender and Intersex FAQs
    • Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender Adults and Youth with Dr. Davina Kotulsi
    • Frequently Asked Questions about Individuals with Intersex Conditions with Dr. Davina Kotulski
  • Trans-etiquette: Tips and guidelines for being culturally sensitive.
    • Tips for Allies of Transgender People: A Brief Review
    • Interview with Jamison Green, FTM Transgender Activist and past President of WPATH
    • Interview with Kari McAllister, MTF Transgender Advocate