Featured job: Highly Specialist Clinical or Counselling Psychologist
Employer: Adult Gender Identity Clinic, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
17 May 2019
We spoke to Professor Christina Richards, MSc DCPsych CPsychol EuroPsy FBPsS, HCPC Registered Applied Psychologist, Lead Consultant Psychologist & Head of Research, Chair BPS Division of Counselling Psychology, Visiting Professor Regent’s University London.
"The field of gender diversity is a very exciting field to work in largely because of its heterogeneity – it involves psychology naturally, but also endocrinology, surgery, law, community engagement, and is helped by a reasonable working knowledge of sociology, history, and politics. These things are combined into endlessly interesting and rewarding work which has the possibility of genuinely affecting people’s lives for the better.
It is, however, a contentious field – with some people (wrongly) asserting that trans or non-binary people are necessarily mentally ill, or in some other way problematic; while other people try to use trans and non-binary people’s lives to further some theoretical end – whether that theory is ultimately ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ gender diversity. In contrast, our work is, of course, about real people and real lives – and so the challenge is in understanding the vagaries of politics and theory certainly, but in holding central the real experience of the people we are working with.
Consequently, we are looking for people with an interest in the field and an open mind. The details of Gender Diversity can be learned, but an open and inquiring mind cannot. Bigots and exploitative theoreticians need not apply! Clever, open people who are interested in clinical practice, research, truly multidisciplinary working, and developing this emerging field are most welcome."