Objective: Transgender and gender diverse youth (TGD) are seeking psychological and medical care at an increased rate. Psychologists and other mental health providers, both on multidisciplinary teams and in the community, are being called upon to support these youth and their families. Evidence-based comprehensive care is imperative, which includes involving parents and caregivers. Moreover, parental and caregiver acceptance and support are one of the most important protective factors against anxiety, depression, and suicidality. By supporting parents and caregivers along their own journey, mental health providers can improve outcomes for the whole family. Method: This article summarizes key practices for mental health providers in working with parents and caregivers of gender diverse youth. Results: Best practices for working with parents and caregivers include (a) using a comprehensive, individualized, dynamic process for assessment, psychoeducation, and intervention; (b) assisting families in taking an informed and shared decision-making approach to care; (c) addressing parent and caregiver concerns from a risk/benefit perspective; and (d) understanding the parent and caregiver journey, including complex emotions and experiences of loss and grief. Conclusions: Working with parents and caregivers of TGD youth is an integral part of competent gender affirming care. While there is no one path that will be best for all families, using these best practices will assist mental health providers in supporting parents and caregivers as they adapt and support their TGD children and teens.
- Gender diverse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology