Every part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, is touched by gender identity and the cultural and contextual meanings made of it. However, perhaps because of the very pervasive nature of gendered experience, reflexivity around one’s own gender identity is rarely covered in much depth in professional trainings. Instead, gender is often either taken for granted or otherwise felt to be the preserve of ‘experts’ who work with populations where questions of gender are understood to be the principal presenting problem.

This e-learning course starts from the position that we all have a gender identity and that we can all struggle with it to a greater or lesser degree at times. Therefore, instead of exploring only the experience of people ‘out there’ for whom gender identity presents problems in living, this e-learning course seeks to position gender as a shared experience. In particular we will focus on building an Affirmative Practice; which is based on two pillars: building our knowledge about the subject area in question and practising reflexivity about our relationship to it.

The first part of the e-learning course explores what gender is, and then discusses cisgender identities through the psychology of masculinities and femininities. We will then move on to trans and gender nonconforming identities before going into some depth around the lived experience, including medical, legal and social frameworks.  Finally, we will look at Compassion Focused Therapy models as a way of helping clients with internalised transphobia and gender shame. Throughout the course there will be reflexive exercises and opportunities for delegate questions and discussion.

The e-learning course has two aims: firstly, to deepen our understanding of gender in general, our own gendered identity and how it interacts with our client’s identity.  Secondly, to build our understanding of and ability to work with clients who are gender diverse.

The course is scheduled as four modules:

Module 1: Understanding gender and cisgender identities

This is an introductory session that explores what gender is. We look at current theory and research on the psychology of femininities and masculinities and how our clients come to understand their gender identity.

Module 2: Exploring trans and gender nonconforming identities

Having identified the norms that govern cisgender identities we will look at other forms of gender identities, including transgender and other gender nonconforming classifications including non-binary identities.

Module 3: Unpacking the lived experience

Part of working affirmatively is having a clear understanding of the lived experience for gender diverse people.  We will look specifically at:

  • Medical frameworks – including NHS treatment pathways
  • Legal frameworks – what protections does the UK have for gender diverse people?
  • Social spaces – coming out, transition, sexuality and intimate relationships

Module 4: Compassion Focused Therapy and gender shame

The final session looks at the third wave CBT model of Compassion Focused therapy developed by Paul Gilbert and considers how it can be used effectively with gender diverse clients experiencing internalised transphobia and gender shame.


CPD Hours: 5

Ticket prices:

Individual ticket for 2 year access: £125

(note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)