Tuesday, November 22, 2011

School Therapists Requesting Education and Training on Gender and Orientation

Ever hear of the term "E/BD"?  Emotional/Behavioral Disorder is a diagnosis or label applied to students who exhibit acting out behaviors or mood imbalances that impact their ability to learn, relate and perform in the classroom. Most school districts in the US and Canada have specialized programs with dedicated teachers and counselors to address the needs of these students.

Ms. Nadyne Floyd-Grubbs, Chairperson for Miami-Dade County Public Schools E/BD Clinical Services, noticed continuing education requests on gender transitioning, orientation and student well-being on a recent team survey. She contacted YES Institute, and this November we conducted a two-hour workshop with 60 social workers, art therapists and counselors from the E/BD program.

Ms. Nadyne Floyd-Grubbs, second from the left, with MDCPS E/BD counseling team members. 

Students dealing with emotional and behavioral challenges can also simultaneously be struggling with questions surrounding gender and orientation. Given the prevalent 'anti-gay' school bullying climate that many students endure, some E/BD students are more sensitive and therefore more affected by these types of slurs and harassment. A popular E/BD blog featured a resource post for parents and families earlier this year for students confronting emotional well-being and gender and orientation concerns.

"The personal experiences were very powerful. It shows us how this topic needs to be handled with sensitivity. It is our responsibility to be knowledgeable about gender and transgender." –E/BD Counselor 

At the workshop, Barbara Byrne, LCSW, shared about several cases on gender and orientation she manages in her private practice, and highlighted key clinical strategies when working with schools and parents. We also provided counselors with community resource and referrals in addition to educational courses available to parents, teachers and therapists with YES Institute.

"This session was extremely important. I feel better equipped to assist young adults with orientation." –E/BD Counselor 

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in January 2012, YES Institute will be hosting our annual winter education weekend, "Communicating Powerfully & ReVisioning Gender," conducting five days of the most popular courses at YES Institute. To register for the entire event, or attend one of the courses offered in the series, please contact us today. CE units and Master Plan Points are available for licensed Florida professionals.

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