Best Practices for Music Therapists and Providers Working with Transgender, Non-Binary, or Gender Expansive Clients (2 CMTE credits)

Payment options:


2 Ethics credits 


Presenter: Shawn V Giammatei, PhD


Course Description

This course is a basic Gender 101 overview of what clinicians need to know when working affirmatively with transgender, non-binary, gender expansive people. We cover the basics of language and the importance of using the correct terminology, the construct of gender, including an understanding or how gender and sexuality differ, the Gender Affirmative Model and utilizing a gender affirmative approach as a clinician, a basic understanding of gender dysphoria, minority stress, resilience, and how this impacts client’s presentation and experience, the importance of knowing your own gender journey as a therapist and uncovering potential bias in your work.

This lgbtq+ course will count for 2 ethics credits!

Course Schedule

15 min

Define gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation

15 min

  • Gender presentations are diverse and varied across culture, requiring cultural sensitivity/humility.
  • The gender affirmative model
  • Gender dysphoria, invalidating environment, self invalidation, lose touch with reality
  • Gender noise- trauma

15 minutes

  • The gender affirming therapist- areas of competency, let go of biases, know the terminology
  • Everyone has a gender journey. Your understanding of this process for yourself personally and professionally and your clients is key to gender affirmative treatment.
  • How to be in this together and collaborate to help clients get from where they are to where they want to be
  • Therapist know thyself: Uncover biases, privileges, and beliefs
  • Understand potential negative experienced for your clients
  • Not all experiences are negative
  • Abuse and trauma in a trans context
  • Grief/ambiguous loss, especially for cis-gender partners
  • Don’t assume these but find out if they are present
  • Understand influence of transphobia
  • Traumas
  • Messages they hear often in treatment facilities and how to avoid them

15 minutes
Understand the influence of trans phobia and minority stress
Don’t assume that being trans is the primary issue
Be aware of the resilience present

+63 minutes of questions and answers

125 total minutes, 2 hours of contact time, 2 CMTEs

Learning Objectives

From this CMTE participants will be able to:

  • Describe the the importance of using gender affirming language and terminology with gender diverse clients
  • Differentiate the construct of gender identity from sexual orientation and describe the experience of gender dysphoria.
  • Describe the gender affirmative model and how to apply this approach to clients
  • Discover potential biases and judgments that arise while listening to the perspective, experience and narratives of a trangender man

CBMT Domains

  • IIIA. Implementation 1. Develop a therapeutic relationship by: b. building trust and rapport.
  • IIIA. Implementation 1. Develop a therapeutic relationship by: a. being fully present, authentic, and respectful.
  • IID. Treatment Planning c. values, preferences, and interests of clients, families, and caregivers.
  • IIIA. Implementation 1. Develop a therapeutic relationship by f. recognizing and managing aspects of one’s own professional and personal biases, feelings, and behaviors that affect the therapeutic process (e.g., transference and countertransference).11. Examine one’s own assumptions, values, and biases


                                  Best Practices for Music Therapists and Providers Working with Transgender,    Non-Binary, or Gender Expansive Clients is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 2 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. The Spiegel Academy, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.




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