Date of Conferral
Counselor Education and Supervision
Geneva M. Gray
Gender diverse individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and transprejudice regularly, in response to daily interactions with society. These negative experiences lead to the development of physical, mental, and emotional instability. Gender diverse individuals experience transprejudice and discriminatory experiences in transpohobic counseling environments. Furthermore, current research highlights the need for counselors to increase training and knowledge to work with gender diverse individuals. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study, grounded in a Heideggerian philosophy, was to illuminate the lived experiences of professional counselors engaging in counseling with gender diverse clients and bridge the gap in the current literature. Data were collected from 7 licensed professional counselors with experience counseling gender diverse clients. using a semistructured interview and followed a structured thematic analysis process incorporating components of interpretive phenomenological analysis, ensuring thematic saturation. The results of this study highlighted 10 major themes and seven subthemes inclusive, but not limited to education and training, understanding gender diversity issues, intentional bias, and professional experience. These study findings provide insight regarding the potential to improve counselor training and preparation. Ultimately increasing knowledge and education may impact and improve the lives for the gender diverse clients by reducing transprejudice, transphobia, and other forms of bias.