Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Corinne Bridges


This research study question focused on licensed mental health counselors’ experiences when providing therapy to transgender veterans. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to gain insight into the experiences of counselors providing treatment to transgender veteran clients to improve the retainability of transgender veterans seeking mental health care. This study used the research design of hermeneutics to analyze and interpret data gained from in-person interviews. The study sample included eight licensed professional counselors (LPC) who actively see clients and have seen transgender veteran clients. Interviews were recorded, reviewed by the researcher, transcribed using a transcription service; NVivo software and Microsoft Word were used to identify meaning units and create narrative summaries. The study results revealed LPCs have limited training and experiences with the transgender veteran population and minimal knowledge about vocabulary or terms that negatively influence rapport. Additional results showed that military culture and gender expression influenced how counselors approached therapy and gained rapport with transgender veteran clients. The participants identified ongoing training and use of community resources to overcome the limitations of experience and education treating transgender veterans. The experiences faced by mental health counselors are an area of research that leads to social change by identifying more effective and affirming approaches to serve the transgender veteran population better and educate counselors.