Families in Transition

Parenting Gender Diverse Children,
Adolescents, and Young Adults

Edited By
Arlene Lev and Andrew Gottlieb

496 pages
Paperback, $50.00 / £40.00 ISBN: 9781939594297
Hardcover, $90.00 / £70.00 ISBN: 9781939594303
E-book, $41.99 / £33.00 ISBN: 9781939594310

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Families in Transition: Parenting Gender Diverse Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults is a compilation of clinically oriented articles, research, and case material authored by mental health and medical experts, both nationally and internationally known, as well as first-person narratives written by parents/families, exploring the complexities faced by parents and caretakers attending to the needs of their children in a largely hostile world. The professional articles are positioned side by side with the voices of the parents themselves – each complementing the other – and together adding up to a richly complex,
original tapestry.

While most books on this subject highlight the experiences of the gender diverse child and adolescent, parents’ perspectives are placed front and center. Those raising these children and adolescents have unique struggles and personal processes as caregivers and advocates. Making complex social and medical decisions in a society that is hostile and polarized only complicates the picture. This book highlights their rarely heard voices, and gives insight to therapists and physicians on how to support all members of the family, helping them grow and heal during what is often a challenging time.

Families in Transition:

  • Challenges the ways we think about cultural norms and how those impact our clinical work;
  • Explores a parent’s desire for their child to live authentically alongside a desire to protect them;
  • Highlights how the attitudes and behaviors of extended relatives impact the gender nonconforming child and their caretakers;
  • Presents an historical overview contrasting the reparative and the affirmative models of treatment;
  • Illustrates how difficult treatment can be when a patient is reticent to disclose their gender identity to their parents or when parents either have little information or are in denial;
  • Offers strategies on how best to advocate for a child in a school setting;
  • Outlines best practices for the care of transgender youth.

This text is designed for mental health professionals – clinicians, educators, and researchers; medical providers; parents and caretakers of gender diverse children, adolescents, and young adults; and is suitable for graduate and doctoral level coursework in a range of subject areas, including Gender, Sexuality, and Family Studies.

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(since 3/13/19)
FOREWORDFree Chapter
Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT

(since 3/13/19)
Andrew R. Gottlieb, PhD, LCSW

(since 3/13/19)
Arlene I. Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC, CST

PART I: Gender Nonconforming Children and Trans Youth: What You Didn’t Expect When Expecting

1. It Takes a Gender Creative Parent
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
2. Helping Parents Face Their Fears
Irwin Krieger, LCSW

3. On the (L)edge of Transition: The Reyes Family
Lisette Lahana, LCSW

PART II: Theory and Research: What Should Parents Be Aware Of?

4. The “80% Desistance” Dictum: Is It Science?
Kelley Winters, PhD
5. All in the Family: How Extended Family Relationships Are Influenced by Children’s Gender Diverse and Transgender Identities
Katherine A. Kuvalanka, PhD, Molly Gardner, MA, and Cat Munroe, MA

6. More Than the Sum of Your Parts: A Theoretical Perspective
AndreAs Neumann Mascis, PhD

Part III: Clinical Issues: What are the Parents’ Concerns and Challenges Regarding Cultural Diversity, Clinical Models, and Psychiatric Treatment?

7. Walking a Tightrope: A Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Perspective on the Spectrum of Affirmation and Pathologization with Gender Diverse Youth
Scott Leibowitz, MD
8. Chinese Canadian Families with Transgender Youth
Nena Wang, MA, and Wallace Wong, PsyD, R Psych

9. Approaches to the Treatment of Gender Nonconforming Children and Transgender Youth
Arlene I. Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC, CST

10. Micah and His Protectors
Lisette Lahana, LCSW

PART IV: Identity Transformation: How Do Children’s Gender Identity/Gender Nonconforming Behaviors Shift Parents’ Perceptions of Their Child and of Themselves as Parents?

11. Transforming the Identity of Parents of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children
Margaret Nichols, PhD, and Stephanie Sasso, PsyD
12. My Own Transition
Elena Moser, LCSW

PART V: Medical Concerns: How Do Puberty Suppression and/or Hormonal Considerations Affect Parents?

13. But Doc, Is It Safe? Effects of Pubertal Suppression and Trans Hormone Therapy for Youth
Irene N. Sills, MD
14. Discussing Aspects of Medical Transition with Parents of Young Transgender People: A Psychotherapist’s Perspective
Damien Riggs, PhD, FAPS

15. Family-Oriented Medical Care for Gender Nonconforming Children, Adolescents, and Their Families
Carolyn Wolf-Gould, MD

16. When My Son Became My Daughter

PART VI: Family Functioning: What Is the Effect of Gender Atypical Behavior on Parental Relationships, Extended Family, and Siblings?

17. Supporting Siblings through Transition: A Child-Centered, Transfeminist Therapeutic Approach
Shannon L. Sennott, LICSW, and Davis Chandler, LICSW
18. “I Was Hoping It Would Be a Phase”: The Challenges Parents Face Raising a Gender Nonconforming Child
Elizabeth Anne Riley, PhD

19. The Experiences of Parents of Transgender Individuals Who Transition in Adulthood
Katherine Rachlin, PhD

20. Transition in Four Voices
Barbara Rio-Glick, MSW, Shelley Rio-Glick, MSW, Sonya Rio-Glick, and AJ Rio-Glick

PART VII: Educational Concerns: How Do Parents Manage and Advocate for Gender Nonconforming Children and Transition-Related Issues in a School Setting?

21. Social Transitioning for Gender Dysphoric Children: A Practical Guide for Parents
Wallace Wong, PsyD, R Psych, and Sabrina C. H. Chang, MA
22. “Please Stop Calling My Daughter ‘He’ ”: Advocating for Teens and Preteens in the School Setting
Deborah Coolhart, PhD, LMFT

PART VIII: Support Groups: What Is the Parent’s Experience of Available Support Groups and Advocacy Organizations?

23. The Experience of Parent Facilitators in a PFLAG Support Group for Parents of Transgender Youth and Young Adults
Melissa MacNish, MA, LMHC
24. Peer Support for Parents of Gender Nonconforming Children: Benefits and Risks
Rex Butt, PhD

25. Camp Aranu’tiq: Notes from the First Camp for Transgender and Gender Variant Youth
Nick M. Teich, LCSW

26. Tom-Girl, Trans Girl, Pink Boy: Finding a Support Group for All
Lauren P.




Arlene I. Lev


Andrew R. Gottlieb

(since 3/13/19)


Free ChapterAvailable at no charge for reading, sharing & downloading for a time-limited period. Not available for re-publication without permission.