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Transgender Mental Health

Eric Yarbrough, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-113-6
  • Item #37113
Hear the voices behind the most prominent psychiatric scholarship in Psychiatry Unbound.
Dr. Laura Roberts hosts an honest and intimate conversation about gender diversity in mental health training with Eric Yarbrough, author of Transgender Mental Health.


Societal awareness of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals is greater now than at any point in history, owing to the education of policy makers by advocacy organizations, the education of clinicians by research and scientific organizations, and the education of the general public by movies, television, and other media. However, most professional training programs for mental health professionals provide little to no education regarding gender diversity.

Transgender Mental Health squarely addresses this deficit. This guide forgoes clinical jargon in favor of accessible, straightforward language designed to educate clinicians on how to address the basic needs of the TGNC community, thus increasing access to mental health care for TGNC individuals, which has been sorely lacking to this point.

Rich in cases drawn from real clinical experience, the guide is organized into four sections.

  • The first section includes a discussion of the gender spectrum and offers a history of the TGNC experience. This section also covers advocacy, particularly letter writing for gender marker changes and gender-affirming surgeries.
  • The second section is dedicated to mental health factors in TGNC care and examines sex and sexuality, support systems, and transitioning and detransitioning.
  • The third of the guide’s sections addresses general physical health with TGNC individuals, including masculinizing and feminizing hormones, with an eye toward preparing practitioners to address the social, psychological, and physical needs of their patients.
  • The final section discusses all major gender-affirming surgical procedures, as well as nonsurgical interventions.

Each chapter includes summarizing key points and review questions at the end that not only test the reader’s comprehension of the material but also provide additional information on the complicated political, social, and cultural barriers that many TGNC individuals experience as they attempt to secure adequate care.

Relevant for a range of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, family therapists, and school counselors, Transgender Mental Health is a simple yet thorough primer on the complex topic of gender diversity.


    About the Author
    Part I: General Topics
    Chapter. 1 Introduction
    Chapter. 2 Understanding the Gender Spectrum
    Chapter. 3 Historical Background
    Chapter. 4 Establishing a TGNC-Friendly Clinic
    Chapter. 5 Advocacy
    Chapter. 6 Letter Writing
    Part II: Mental Health–Related Topics
    Chapter. 7 The Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis
    Chapter. 8 Gender-Affirming Mental Health
    Chapter. 9 Transitions and Detransitions
    Chapter. 10 Families
    Chapter. 11 Plurality
    Chapter. 12 Sexuality
    Part III: Primary Care and Hormone Treatment
    Chapter. 13 Primary Care
    Chapter. 14 Transmasculine Hormones
    Chapter. 15 Transfeminine Hormones
    Part IV: Surgical and Nonsurgical Gender-Affirming Procedures
    Chapter. 16 Transmasculine Top Surgery
    Chapter. 17 Transfeminine Top Surgery
    Chapter. 18 Transmasculine Bottom Surgery
    Chapter. 19 Transfeminine Bottom Surgery
    Chapter. 20 Other Gender-Affirming Procedures
    Chapter. 21 Conclusion

About the Authors

Eric Yarbrough, M.D., is currently medical Director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York City. In the APA, Dr. Yarbrough also is vice-chair of the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.

Yarbrough's honest, straightforward approach is rare in medicine, and helps to create a resource that is educational but also accessible. I'd recommend it to any mental health professional interested in learning more about transgender and gender nonconforming people.—Laura Erickson-Schroth, M.D., M.A., editor of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and co-author of You're in the Wrong Bathroom & 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender People

Dr. Yarbrough has written a comprehensive guide for the mental health clinician working with transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people that covers a broad range of relevant topics from basic to advanced. He employs an accessible, jargon-free style that makes the guide easy to read and the book is well organized into relevant chapters that each end with an engaging question and answer section to emphasize the key learning points. Dr. Yarbrough’s book will be helpful whether the reader is just starting to work with TGNC people or is interested in hearing about complicated topics such as detransitioning and dissociative disorders from an experienced psychiatric clinician.—Christopher A. McIntosh, MSc, M.D., FRCPC, Head, Adult Gender Identity Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada

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