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Digital Recording

Readiness for Gender-Affirmative Medical Treatments: Letters of Support for Trans and Gender Expansive Youth and Adults

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Deborah Anne Coolhart, PhD, LMFT
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jun 30, 2022
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Media Type:
Digital Recording
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In this recording, view Deb Coolhart, PhD, LMFT, a clinician with over 20 years of experience working with trans and gender expansive individuals, as she provides you with all the information you need to assist youth and adult clients determine their readiness for medical gender-affirmative treatments. You’ll receive:

  • A tool for determining readiness for gender-affirmative medical treatments
  • Guidelines for writing letters of support, as well as sample letters

Any masters-level mental health provider can be qualified to support these important, sometimes life-saving treatments. So, the next time you are asked to write a letter of support for gender-affirmative treatments, you will be prepared!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.



Deborah Anne Coolhart, PhD, LMFT's Profile

Deborah Anne Coolhart, PhD, LMFT Related seminars and products

Deb Coolhart, PhD, LMFT, is a private practice clinician and an assistant professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Syracuse University. She has been doing therapy with LGBTQ youth and their families for nearly 20 years. She created the Transgender Treatment Team in Syracuse University’s Couple and Family Therapy Center, where she trains and supervises master’s students to work with transgender people and their families.

Dr. Coolhart has several publications on clinical work with LGBTQ youth. Her recent work has focused on transgender youth and their families. She has developed a tool for assessing youths’ and families’ readiness for gender transition treatments, published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. She has also published multiple manuscripts on supporting transgender youth and families in therapy and advocating for trans-affirmative school environments. Recently, she co-authored a book, The Gender Quest Workbook: Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity. Additionally, Dr. Coolhart has conducted research on transgender people and their family relationships and the experiences of LGBTQ homeless youth.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Deborah Coolhart maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Syracuse University. She is a published author and receives royalties. Dr. Coolhart receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Deborah Coolhart is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.


  1. Apply gender-affirmative care strategies to clinical work with trans and gender expansive youth and adults.
  2. Utilize a tool to determine readiness for gender-affirmative medical treatments with trans and gender expansive youth and adults.
  3. Execute written letters of support for gender-affirmative medical treatments for clients.


  • Challenges/Barriers in Gender Affirming Care
    • Pervasive discrimination
    • Access to care
    • Gatekeeping
    • Importance of being a visible gender-affirmative provider
    • Prioritizing clients’ urgency
  • Model for Making Decisions About Gender-Affirmative Medical Treatments
    • Role of persistence and distress
  • Tool for Determining Readiness for Gender-Affirmative Medical Treatments
    • Assessing upcoming challenges and sources of support
    • Domains:
      • Early awareness of gender and family context
      • Parental/family attunement
      • Current gender expression
      • School context
      • Sexual/relationship development
      • Current intimate relationship(s)
      • Support
      • Future plans/expectations
  • Writing Letters of Support
    • What to include and not include
    • How to handle concerns
  • Limitations of Research and Potential Risks

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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