What is the point of research if not to make the world a better place? APA has taken this to heart with its approval this week of practice guidelines for psychologists working with transgender and gender nonconforming people. The members of the working group that developed the guidelines described their work at a symposium they called a celebration.
Dr. lore dickey, an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech, said the guidelines may save lives, and called the final product a “labor of love.” The process of developing the guidelines included long working nights and crowded conference calls. The group aimed for accessible language and succeeded, he said.
So what are the guidelines? The entire document can be found here. There are 16 guidelines in total – and I have taken the liberty of listing the first five below, just to provide a flavor.
- Psychologists understand that gender is a non-binary construct that allows for a range of gender identities and that a person’s gender identity may not align with sex assigned at birth.
- Psychologists understand that gender identity and sexual orientation are distinct but interrelated constructs.
- Psychologists seek to understand how gender identity intersects with other cultural identities of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people.
- Psychologists are aware of how their attitudes and knowledge of gender identity and gender expression may affect the quality of care they provide to TGNC people and their families.
- Psychologists recognize how stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and violence affect the health and well-being of TGNC people.