Working with Gender Variant Clients

Two day course: Sat 30 and Sun 1 December 2019, 10am to 5pm both days.

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Liza Heatley, PTSTA (P)

Who is it aimed at?

Therapists whether qualified or still in training, supervisors, and trainers.

Course Outline

This is an opportunity to learn more about the increasing number of people identifying as gender diverse and we will explore aspects of working with this rapidly expanding minority group. Participants will learn about the unique challenges faced by clients who seek to achieve mind-body congruence as they explore their gender identity and the treatment available to them.

We will consider the ethical dilemmas and conflicts faced by clinicians in work that is both continually evolving and pioneering.


This is an emerging client group and practitioners may feel curious, interested, anxious or that the presenting issues are beyond their experience to work with. We will talk about definitions of gender dysphoria and develop an understanding of this neurodevelopmental condition. We will consider how gender dysphoria affects the client’s experience of their body, their identity and what it is like for them to live in a binary society. A basic knowledge of Transactional Analysis would be an advantage, although not essential.

Learning Outcomes

  • Introduce an understanding of what it is to identify as gender variant
  • Enhance awareness of the issues faced by those relating in this way
  • Invite an exploration of our thoughts and feelings about working with GV people
  • Discuss the effect of gender dysphoria on script decisions.

Course Structure

Didactic, experiential, discussion and small group work.

Facilitator’s Biography

Liza Heatley, MSc (Psych), CTA (P), PTSTA (P), UKCP registered Psychotherapist and Supervisor.

Liza is an experienced and accredited counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer.

Liza has over 25 years of experience in the public and voluntary sector in both large and small organisations, managing staff and teams. Liza specializes in gender variance and is highly skilled and experienced in assisting clients explore aspects of their gender identity. She currently works in the NHS in a gender identity clinic and in private practice in Marldon, a village situated between Paignton and Torquay.

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