I am excited to highlight some of my favourite books that I use in my work as an LGBTQ counsellor and trainer. This is part of a series of blogs.
Next up is ...
Transgender Health: A Practitioner's Guide to Binary and Non-Binary Trans Patient Care
Who wrote it?
Ben Vincent, holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Leeds. Ben specialises in transgender identity, community practices and transgender healthcare.
What the book is about?
Aimed at healthcare and medical practitioners (although very accessible to counsellors) this book shows how to deliver primary and secondary care to gender-diverse people.
With accessible and practical advice on how to tailor your work to the needs of each client.
This book explains how to use language and pronouns in a respectful way and lists lots of detailed information about medical transition such as hormones, hair removal, top surgery and gamete storage.
What they cover?
Chapters include the following:
Administration and Patient Interactions
The Referral Process
Care Separate from Transition
Children and Adolescents
Gender Affirmation Surgeries
Why I find it helpful?
Whilst covering lots of detailed information about trans healthcare this book is also broken up into lots of very accessible chapters. The contents and index are both very thorough, which makes it easy to find exactly what I am looking for, as I refer to the book often.
As a counsellor passionate about creating change in our society to make healthcare settings safer and more inclusive for trans and/or non-binary people, I love that this book is aimed at all healthcare providers and not just counsellors; because if we can all make efforts to be more informed in our language and treatment of gender-diverse folks then we can make the world a safer place for trans people to live, work, socialise, and of course, transition if they choose to.
It breaks my heart to hear the poor treatment so many of my clients have experienced with other counsellors, GPs and healthcare professionals, so I truly hope that more professionals will buy and read this book to help make their work more inclusive.
I would be overjoyed if I saw this on the desk at my GP surgery.
Why I think clients will find it helpful?
I see so many clients who are in the early stages of exploring their gender who are not sure if they might be trans, but if so, what changes they might like to explore. I think that, sadly, there is the assumption that just because someone is trans they are going to know where to look for information to get help and support.
This book gives a very thorough explanation of all the steps around social and medical transition. Knowing all the options as well as having a rough idea of the wait times for each GIC (Gender Identity Clinic) can be very helpful for many clients, especially when they are in the early stages of exploring if they might be trans.
This book is also immensely helpful for clients who are in the midst of transitioning who might not have found the information they need to make informed choices about medical transition.
Why I think counsellors will find it helpful?
When running training workshops for counsellors about working with trans clients, one of the most common things people ask me is about terminology. Counsellors are scared of not knowing what words mean or misunderstanding what their client is trying to say.
I therefore often recommend this book as I love the fact that the first chapter covers an introduction to trans terminology. By giving full paragraph descriptions rather than just short definitions, counsellors are able to learn more about what words such as Deadname, Genderqueer and Intersex mean.
Pronouns are a big thing that I am passionate about helping counsellors build their confidence with, and I am aware that many counsellors don’t ask their clients what their pronouns are. Sadly, this means that they can inadvertently end up guessing their clients' pronouns when they talk about them in clinical supervision. This needs to change and we need to start asking clients their pronouns and using them correctly in supervision.
This great book helps explain why pronouns are important, and what to do about record keeping, and how to manage situations if you make a mistake. As a trainer, I come across counsellors struggling the most with gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them. This book helps demystify the use of they/them and clearly states examples of singular usage of these pronouns since at least the 14th century.
I hope this book helps build your confidence if you are a counsellor looking to learn more.
Where can I buy the book?
You can buy the book from all good bookshops
This is part of a series of blogs. Read more book blogs here.
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