Affirmative Mental Health for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth

This event has been postponed. Updated dates TBD.


Sign up to be notified when registration for this event opens.

Course Description

OHSU's Division of Pediatric Endocrinology is pleased to be sponsoring Affirmative Mental Health Care for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth. This event is a training conference for mental health professionals working with transgender youth who wish to significantly expand their knowledge and experience of meeting the health care needs of this population. 

This is a two-day, live (not web-based) conference, with separate objectives and target audiences for each day:

Day 1:

Best suited for mental health providers who have some experience working with transgender youth but would like to expand their practice, and/or receive more training about working with this population (and their families) with a balanced, affirmative approach. Time will also be spent discussing some of the current controversies around working with this population (e.g., early social transition, appropriate age to start medical interventions, etc.)

A pediatric endocrinologist from OHSU will also present about options for medical transition, including pubertal suppression and gender-affirming hormones.

Day 2:

Geared for a smaller group of mental health providers who are interested in learning how to complete the recommended psychological "readiness evaluations" for transgender adolescents seeking medical interventions (puberty blockers and hormones). An additional focus of this day will be on some of the typical complex issues that present in these cases and recommendations regarding how to approach these. Providers attending this day should have more experience working with transgender youth and their families (ideally, these providers will have worked with at least 5 transgender youth).

Those wishing to participate in day 2 must:

  • have training and experience working with children and adolescents.
  • have experience providing supportive therapy/counseling to transgender youth.
  • attend day 1, as this will provide important background information on which day 2 will build.

Day 2 is geared toward psychologists, given that the focus is on psychological testing and integrated report writing. However, non-psychology child/adolescent-trained mental health providers are welcome to participate if they feel they have sufficient background in using psychosocial measures and writing integrated diagnostic reports, and have experience working with transgender youth. In addition, advanced doctoral students in child/adolescent psychology are encouraged to contact the presenter ( if they are interested in attending the training.

About the invited speakers:

Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University and actively engages in clinical work in her part-time private practice and with Legacy Hospital's T-Clinic. Previously, she worked at Seattle Children's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She was the founding psychologist for the Gender Management Service (GeMS) at Boston Children's Hospital where she developed the psychological testing protocol for transgender adolescents seeking medical interventions. Dr Edwards-Leeper was trained by the renowned Dr. Peggy Cohen-Kettenis in the Dutch clinic. She continues her involvement with GeMS research endeavors, has coauthored book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles, and has been interviewed by various media outlets. Dr. Edwards-Leeper is a member of several national and international committees focused on working with transgender youth, including the American Psychological Association Task Force developing practice guidelines for working with transgender individuals. She has been identified as a national expert in this area.

Kara Connelly, MD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, part of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Dr. Connelly works closely with the OHSU Transgender Health Program, and is actively building the Doernbecher Gender Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic serving transgender and gender non-conforming youth. 

Please note: to help meet administrative costs a $35 cancellation fee is assessed to all refund requests.