by Niela Miller
Different Path Press (ISBN: 0-9626262-6-0)
This is an excellent beginner's guide for any therapist who is working with a transgendered client for the very first time. It is comprehensive in its breadth and is well-written in an easy-going and straight-forward style. It begins in the first section of the book dealing with initial engagement of the client who is trying to explore their gender identity. These individuals face a number of unique issues that are often found in clients who present with other problems in living. Stages of development and the client's agenda is also discussed in this section, among other topics.
In the second section of the book, the author offers a wide range of techniques and helpful ideas on how to best address therapy with transgendered clients. She spends a fair amount of time discussing experiential methods, including visual imagery, dreams and fantasies in this section, as well as body signals and role playing. Group work is also touched upon. The third section of the book discusses relationships, including some help for couples and helping the client inform others of their transformation.
In the fourth section, the author presents three case histories, including a cross-dressing husband and wife and two transsexuals. The last section deals with future trends in counseling with this population. The Appendix includes bibliographies on gender and humanistic, Jungian and dream topics, as well as a brief description of humanistic psychology. There is also a list of gender-related resources. If there is one failing in this book, it is only that it doesn't go into enough depth and detail with some of the topics. It does draw on the author's own rich experiences in working with these people, though, which easily makes up for it. 200 pages, softcover, large print.
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Submitted on: 5-Apr-2000