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Understanding Gender Affirming Care: Across the Spectrum and Beyond

February 2 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Understanding Gender Affirming Care: Across the Spectrum and Beyond (2 CEs)
Virtual Zoom training presented by Gretchen Cooper, LMFT, hosted by SFCAMFT

Gain foundational understanding regarding gender affirming care and cultivate effective clinical interventions to support LGBTQ+ community

Seminar Schedule:
Friday, February 2, 2024,10am-12pm PT

Presenter Information:

Gretchen Anne Cooper (LMFT#116246) graduated with her BA in Philosophy from the University of La Verne and received her MA in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute (PGI) in Los Angeles. She is currently in private practice in California and adjunct faculty at PGI. She worked in community mental health for several years before transitioning to her private practice in 2021, full time. During her time in the county, Gretchen acquired a passion for serving individuals from a multitude of backgrounds. It was there that she developed a passion for working with LGBTQIA+ youth. Gretchen specializes in working with adults, LGBTQ+, adolescents, the unhoused and children. Gretchen is published in CAMFT’S The Therapist magazine on Gender Affirming Care in their November/December 2022 issue. She also published an article about supporting LGBTQ+ adolescents in Family Therapy Magazine in July 2023. She is a published poet in SAGE magazine and published her thesis on Animal Assisted therapy with Children on the Autism Spectrum. Gretchen enjoys surfing and spending time outdoors and performing hula with her halau. Her sister is transgender and Gretchen, herself, is also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Gretchen is currently on track to becoming an AAMFT supervisor .


The workshop will provide foundational background information on how to be a Gender-Affirming Provider. There will be an introduction and positionality statement followed by a ten minute activity about challenging one’s own unconscious biases when serving the LGBTQ+ community. Clinicians will learn how providers can initiate this life-saving care with their own clients through specific examples of language usage and education. Participants will gain an understanding of the do’s and don’ts regarding transgender/non-binary etiquette and terminology. Therapists will learn at least twenty different pronouns and how to use them appropriately when talking with our clients. Clinicians will learn how to change their own binary language in order to be more inclusive Therapists can engage in breakout rooms/groups for smaller discussions with question prompts. These groups will assist them inuncovering their own unconscious biases to be more effective as clinicians. Therapists will gain insight on how to talk with their clients about their bodies and what specifically are safe questions to ask. Finally the training will review specific interventions that are most effective within this community. The training will end with legal and ethical considerations, such as tips on navigating the referral process for medical support. I will also go over the current climate in our field and how to educate ourselves regarding false information.

Educational goals:

Participants will learn the basics of the gender binary and transgender etiquette do’s and don’ts in the treatment room. Clinicians will gain insight into their own implicit biases and learn how to communicate effectively with correct terminology and how to speak in a way that does not adhere to the typical binary school of thinking. Finally, participants will be able to utilize specific interventions that have been known to be effective when working within the LGBTQ+ community.

Learning Objectives:

After the presentation, participants will be able to:

1) Identify three legal and ethical considerations when working with this population.

2) Describe the concept of gender-binary and evolution of the gender spectrum.

3) List at least three gender inclusive terms.

4) Apply at least three gender affirming interventions in their own practice .



1. How providers can become allies for the LGBTQ+ community by providing gender-affirming care (Learning objective #2)

a. Understanding the gender spectrum and unlearning binary thinking.

b. Acquiring knowledge of non-binary vocabulary and terminology

c. 10 minute break out groups with specific questions to discuss preconceived biases and notions regarding those biases.

d. Discussing pronouns: How to utilize them in a sentence, what their purpose is, and specific examples of how to use them correctly and incorrectly so as not to offend our clients. (Learning Objective #3).


2. Why are some people Transgender?

a. Education on a brief history of transgender people.

b. Explaining and debunking common myths of transgender people ( IE being trans is not contagious or a trend).


3. Reviewing Transgender etiquette (Learning Objective 3)

a. Not making assumptions.

b. Not interrogating our clients to educate us.

c. Behaviors we should avoid and Behaviors we can utilize to be helpful


4) Gender vocabulary review (Ex. Gender binary, cisgender, gender variant, non-binary, passing, AFAB/AMAB) etc. (Learning objective #2)

a. Non binary facts and definition.

b. Review of some non-binary identities.

c. Examples of inclusive greetings (Instead of “Ladies and gentleman” saying “”Hi everyone”)


5. What does “coming out” mean for our clients?

a. Utilizing positive language: (Ex “clueing in”language instead of “coming out.”)

b. How one should respond to clients when they “clue in” clinicians

c. Tips for discussing transition with clients

d. Non-affirming and gender-affirming statement question examples to use with clients.

e. Gender-affirming terms to describe bodies.


6. Best Clinical Practice : (Learning Objective 1)

a. Recommendations for clinicians: Avoiding gender binary assumptions, creating inclusive forms in our practice, identifying as an ally, using correct language.

b. Understanding that all transition journeys are unique

c. Educating our clients and families that being trans is not a mental illness, despite the DSM definition..


7. Working with Trans kids/teens (Learning objective 1)

a. How to talk to the parents of your trans kid/teen client

b. Educating parents on The Academy of Pediatrics on gender affirming care saving lives.

c. The impact of “De-transitioners” and the damage of misinformation

d. How clinicians can spot mis-information


8. Discussion of current climate in therapy: Therapists who practice conversion therapy today

a. Providing information on the dangers of conversion therapy versus gender affirming care


9. Clinical interventions: (Learning objective #4)

a. Body Positivity vs. Body Neutrality

b. Body Acceptance

c. Legal and ethical considerations

d. Writing letters for hormonal and medical interventions

e. Assisting in transition and identity exploration

f. Discussing negative internalized transphobia.

g. Challenges of care

Fees & Continuing Education Credits:

2 CEs, Attending Live, SFCAMFT member: $20 (plus ticket fees)
2 CEs, Viewing Recording, SFCAMFT member: $20 (plus ticket fees)
2 CEs, Attending Live, Non-member:$30 (plus ticket fees)
2 CEs, Viewing Recording, Non-member: $30 (plus ticket fees)
Prelicensed, No CEs, Attending Live: Free to attend
Prelicensed, No CEs, Viewing Recording: Free to view

Course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTʼs,
LCSWʼs, LPCCʼs and LEPʼs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, January 31 at 12pm.

****By attending the live event, you consent to your voice and/or likeness being recorded and heard/seen by those viewing the recording of the training****

This workshop is offered by the San Francisco Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (SFCAMFT)

Event Information & FAQs

Training Zoom Link & Zoom Pre-Registration: Quickly after registering for the event on Eventbrite, you should receive an email from Eventbrite that confirms your registration and includes Zoom links for the event. You will note that there are two links, one for each presentation. When you click on each Zoom link, you will be asked to pre-register (answer a few questions) before gaining access to the session. If you want to save time, you can pre-register in advance and Zoom will send you a calendar reminder with a link that will give you immediate access to the session on the day of the event.

Recording Option Available: A recording of the training will be available for 21 days and will be sent by February 5th to those who registered for the recording option. You may watch the recording and still be eligible to earn CEs as long as you purchased the “viewing recording” ticket option that includes 2 CEs, watch the training, and complete the online evaluation and short quiz within 30 days of the recording becoming available.

****By attending the live event, you consent to your voice and/or likeness being recorded and heard/seen by those viewing the recording of the training****

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For any questions, concerns, disability accommodations, or grievances related to programming, please contact the Diversity Chair, Cindy Shu, LMFT via email at cindypshu@gmail.com.

Any person with disabilities who may require accommodations to participate in our trainings or special events is asked to please contact the organizer at least 3 days prior to the training.

What’s the refund policy?

All fees are paid to SFCAMFT and are non-refundable. Course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTʼs, LCSWʼs, LPCCʼs and LEPʼs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. SFCAMFT (CEU provider #62283) IS APPROVED BY THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS TO SPONSOR CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR LMFTʼS, LCSWʼS, LPCCʼS AND LEPʼS. SFCAMFT MAINTAINS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROGRAM AND ALL ITS CONTENT.

Questions? Email: cindypshu@gmail.com


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Cindy Shu