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CC21 Keynote 09 - Introduction To Gender Affirmative Couple Therapy With Transgender/Gender Expansive Couples - Shawn Giammattei, PhD
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Dr. Giammattei will present the underlying framework that therapists who work with transgender or gender expansive (TGE) couples need to understand in order to provide gender affirming treatment. He will share ways to explore your own hetero/cis-normative beliefs around coupling and how these influence the models you choose, the questions you ask, and the interventions you use. While TGE couples experience many of the same issues as other couples, we will explore the minority stress and unique stressors that impact these issues in profound ways. Time and format permitting, Dr. Giammattei will use experiential exercises and clinical vignettes to discover and utilize the basics of the gender affirming approach to couple therapy.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Recognize & Assess the impact of personal/social bias and list several ways to address these therapeutically.
  2. Recognize the ways traditional couple therapy models may uphold hetero/cis-normative practices and formulate gender affirming tactics to address these.
  3. Understand the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the complicated ways these intersect for TGE couples.
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of how familial, social, cultural, economic, legal, and political experiences exacerbate minority stress for TGE couples and Identify gender affirmative approaches to address the impact of this on TGE couples’ relationships.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*

Shawn Giammattei, PhD

Shawn V. Giammattei, PhD is a clinical psychologist licensed in the state of California and the founder of the newly developed Gender Health Training Institute. He has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and has 19 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families around a wide variety of issues. He specializes in working with LGBTQ couples and families with a particular focus on the specific issues that arise for transgender/gender expansive (TGE) couples and TGE youth and their families.


Dr. Giammattei is certified by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health as a gender specialist and is on faculty for their Global Education Initiative. He is an affiliated researcher, adjunct professor, and recent past Coordinator of Training for the Rockway Institute: A national center for LGBT psychology research, education, and public policy, at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. He co-created the Rockway Certificate in LGBT Human Services, which includes the first semester long graduate course in transgender mental health and currently teaches graduate level courses in LGBT psychology, transgender mental health, and couples & family therapy. He is a research consultant to Kaiser Permanente, Northern California and Emory University regarding their NIH and PCORI funded studies looking at health outcomes of transgender patients. He is also past president and current council member of the Association of Family Therapists of Northern California; past vice-president and board member of the American Family Therapy Academy; and a member of Mind the Gap, an organization affiliated with the University of California, Beniof, Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic focused on the needs of transgender youth and their families.


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