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Gender and Body Image Outside of the Binary: Increasing Competence in Working With Transgender Youth


Friday, March 24, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

Background: This presentation will increase clinician competency in treating transgender youth. It will discuss the complexity of gender outside the binary and its connection to eating disorders, provide an overview of gender identity and body image, and discuss guidelines for support and practice.

Objectives: 1) Differentiate between biological gender and gender identity on the gender spectrum 2) Identify the components of body image, types of body image disturbance and distinguish between body image dsphoria versus body image distortion 3) Discuss the adolescent coming out process

Body Image and Gender Outside of the Binary: Working with Transgender and Gender Fluid Youth

Opening activity: Body image exercise

Case Study 1

I. Defining gender

  • Biological gender (sex)
  • Gender identity
    • Personal identification as man, woman, or a gender outside of societal norms
  • The gender spectrum

II. Defining body image

  • Components of body image
    • Cognitive
    • Perceptual
    • Affective
    • Evaluative
    • Social
    • Kinesthetic
    • Tactile

III. Body Image Disturbance

  • Types of disturbance
    • Body size distortion
    • Dissatisfaction with body size
    • Concern with body shape
    • Insensitivity to interoceptive cues
    • Body image dsphoria versus body image distortion

IV. Gender expansiveness and gender terminology

  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Gender role
  • Transgender
  • Gender fluidity
  • Prevalence of gender outside of binary

V. Gender identity and sexual orientation

VI. Gender outside the binary as a mental illness

  • History (Gender Identity Dx vs Gender Dysphoria)
  • Current status
  • Relationships to mental health issues

VII. Process of coming out as transgender

  • Case study/sharing letter
  • Transition
    • Social transition
    • Hormonal transition
    • Surgeries
    • Legalities

VIII. Connections between gender identity and eating disorders (Brainstorming)

  • Review of current research
  • Reasons for ED/body image concerns
  • Behaviors to suppress or accentuate gendered features
  • Specific stressors: discrimination, concealing identity, social

alienation, low levels of social support

  • Case Study 2

IX. Providing Support to Transgender Clients (Brainstorming)

  • Use of Names/Pronouns
  • APA Guidelines for Support
  • APA Practice Guidelines
  • Case Study 3

X. Questions and Answers

Body Image and Gender Outside of the Binary: Working with Transgender and Gender Fluid Youth

Program Overview:

This presentation will discuss the complexity of gender outside the binary and its connection to eating disorders and body dysphoria. It will provide an overview of gender identity and body image, look at the current research on connections between gender identity and disordered eating, and will provide guidelines for support and practice. It will reference relevant clinical examples.

Learning Objectives:

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

1) Differentiate between biological gender and gender identity on the gender spectrum

2) Identify the components of body image, types of body image disturbance and distinguish between body image dsphoria versus body image distortion
3) Discuss the adolescent coming out process

4) Evaluate research on the connections between gender identity and eating disorders

Primary Presenter:
Heidi Dalzell, PsyD, CEDS

Heidi Dalzell, PsyD, CEDS is a clinical psychologist with 20 years direct eating disorder experience. Dr. Dalzell has a busy private practice specializing in eating disorders and has a particular interest in the intersection between eating disorders and gender. She has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings. She writes for publications including Kidspeace Healing Magazine. She is also the past coordinator of the Certified Alcohol Counselor Program at Bucks County Community College. As an activist in the area of eating disorders, Dr. Dalzell serves on the board of the Greater Phila. chapter of the International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals.



Co-Presenter:
Stacy Hunt, PhD

Stacy Hunt, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Hunt specializes in working with teens and adults suffering from eating disorders. She has worked in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. She is co-director of Bucks ESC and also facilitates its teen eating disorder and adult restrictive eating groups. Dr. Hunt is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, solution-focused therapy, ego psychology, interpersonal therapy and relational therapy.



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