Adlerian Art Therapy for Treatment of Gender Dysphoric Adolescents

This project addresses Gender Dysphoria in adolescents and how Adlerian group Art Therapy helps them with self-expression, discovering their identities, and exploring how their genders differ from the sex they were assigned at birth.  This project covered a list of terminology, a history of homosexuality and gender dysphoria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), research into Adlerian theory and art therapy regarding gender dysphoria, and research considerations for the future.  Additionally, an extensive 12 week curriculum was designed for an Adlerian art therapy group for adolescents who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.  Adolescence is a time to explore identity and to build a social group outside of the family milieu.  When gender dysphoria is a factor, this process becomes much more challenging for teens.  Many suffer from family abandonment, discrimination, and violence due to their gender dysphoric status.  By creating a therapy group for transgender teens to work through gender identity issues with peers, this allows them to socialize and build a peer support system as well as safely exploring themselves and their feelings related to gender.

Heather Ann Oxendale
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PDF icon Oxendale MP 2016.pdf1.15 MB