Recommendations for Maintaining a Gender Specialization

This information is authored by Gaylesta member and Gender Specialist, Lisette Lahana, LCSW; if shared with others, please provide appropriate attribution. Her website is

  1. Membership in gender-related professional organizations (WPATH or CPATH).
  2. Attendance of professional conferences every 1-2 years which include mental health material such as WPATH, Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, Gender Spectrum, Gender Odyssey or the National Transgender Health Summit.
  3. Ongoing personal exploration related to countertransference, your ethics, and how your own experiences, including that of privilege, may impact your clinical work.
  4. Receive ongoing individual or group consultation on a range of gender-focused cases in an active practice or clinic setting. Over time, consultation may take place through peer consultation groups or by using consultants on an “as needed” basis for complex cases.
  5. Membership in online groups where the provider can engage in dialogue, learn about controversies and become aware of new research. Groups are often made up of other mental health (gender specialists) as well as multi-disciplinary with medical professionals engaged in the field of gender-related healthcare.
  6. Ongoing attendance of classes, trainings or continuing education courses that help with assessment and treatment of people on the gender spectrum. Education can include receiving additional education and updating existing education on intersectionality, sexuality, sex therapy and gender identities and treatment for clients.
  7. Ongoing attendance at events or conferences created and/or organized by people who are transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, intersex, or other people with gender identities we may work with.
  8. Ongoing awareness of state and national laws/policies relating to gender identity and expression.
  9. Ongoing reading of books, community websites and blogs, clinically focused provider websites and first person accounts, as well as the WPATH Standards of Care current edition for updates related to expectations for Adult and Child Gender Specialists. 

©2016 Lisette Lahana. The author welcomes comments on or suggested changes for future updates of this document.