(Advanced level) Sparse research and resources exist for care professionals working to support transgender and gender expansive youth who have been exposed to negative theological messages related to their gender transition. Providers—including social workers, therapists, and psychologists—often do not receive any kind of training related to religious and spiritual competency, let alone information tailored to trans identity, despite its potential impact on family acceptance, identity development, and mental health outcomes. This workshop explores the concepts of spiritual abuse and spiritual trauma, examining common anti-trans theological messages and their mental health effects on trans and gender expansive people. Special attention will be paid to how these damaging messages impact trans*and gender expansive youth well-being and how it can relate to systemic harm including bullying, homelessness, and substance abuse. Attendees will share their experiences in small and large groups, explore the clinical and logistical resources available to assist clients and their families, and leave with resources for further exploration.
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