Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


Transgender adolescents in the United States are currently a vulnerable population that often regularly face discrimination and are at a high risk for hate crimes (Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, 2016). Developing and implementing therapeutic interventions and models for working with transgender adolescents is essential at this time. In American society, there has recently been a cultural shift towards a greater sense of acceptance for the LGBTQ community (Benson, 2013), but within that, the transgender community has been consistently left behind in many aspects of progress that LGB (Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual) people have benefited from (Benson, 2013). There is currently a growing body of research for working therapeutically with transgender people, but it is limited at this time, especially with regards to transgender adolescents. Studies show that transgender adolescents, both those who are out and those who are not out, often face considerable amounts of anxiety because of the complications that being transgender in a ‘gender-binary’ world can cause with the formation of self-identity (Barrow, 2014). This literature review revealed drama therapy to be a particularly effective method when working with transgender adolescents, as its emphasis on role has been shown to cultivate positive senses of self-identity. This study presents findings from current research and discusses considerations for an informed approach with transgender adolescents in mental health counseling and drama therapy. Further considerations are presented for future research to explore possibilities of drama therapy as an effective treatment for this population.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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