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Exploring Experiences of Mental Health, Wellbeing and Personal Growth for Transgender Individuals

Vassalos, Sarah (2022) Exploring Experiences of Mental Health, Wellbeing and Personal Growth for Transgender Individuals. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

In partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, this thesis was written to explore transgender individuals’ experiences of mental health, wellbeing, and personal growth as they relate to transition. Whilst recognising that transition is not a set experience of predetermined steps. The nature of transition is subjective, it can be understood as a discrete process, but it can also be interpreted as an ongoing and ever evolving set of experiences. The investigation conducted included a review of the literature to explore what practising clinicians have come to understand about what good mental health care looks like for the transgender population, as well as an exploratory analysis of the perspectives of transgender individuals, regarding the positive impact of engaging with transition.

Paper one presents a review of the literature exploring what trans-affirmative care looks like. Including what makes a therapeutic stance affirmative (or not), how affirmation can be effectively communicated, and what behaviours and actions result in service-users feeling affirmed. Ten papers were identified, the findings of which were critically appraised, analysed and narratively synthesised. Ten key themes were identified, which could be divided into three areas of focus: interpersonal, intervention-level, and service-level factors associated with trans-affirmative care.

Paper two presents a qualitative analysis of transgender individuals’ perceptions of the positive impact of engaging in transition on their mental health, wellbeing, and their sense of personal growth. Semi-structured interviews provided data for a Reflexive Thematic Analysis and three overarching themes were identified.

Paper three presents an executive summary of the findings described in paper two, in an accessible format. The summary is targeted at members of the transgender community, members of the public who wish to know more about the lived reality or transgender lives, and professionals working in the field of gender identity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 12:56
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 12:46

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