Watch the film “Gun Hill Road” (available on Netflix) and write a comprehensive
biopsychosocial about Michael. This will include a diagnostic assessment for Michael, so your
analysis of the information you’re presenting should be present throughout, as should a
demonstrated understanding and a critical analysis of the diagnostic criteria. Your
biopsychosocial assessment should include the following:
I. Identifying data (age, race, gender, sexual orientation, employment, housing, school, etc.),
family background and developmental history, social environment, legal issues, substance use
history, medical history, psychiatric/mental health history, any relevant diagnoses for Michael.
II. Remember that many diagnoses are the subject of controversy; we have reviewed multiple
perspectives concerning the origins and treatment of diagnoses related to trans people. Address
this from your own perspective, and make a case for your diagnosis (or for not diagnosing, if you
choose to do so). Potential diagnoses should be considered from all categories of the DSM-5,
not just related to gender and sexuality.
III. Contextualize the character’s experience within relevant macro and micro systems, within the
sociopolitical climate of the time, and societal issues such as racism, sexism, class, heterosexism,
IV. Conclude with a brief treatment recommendation. What kinds of services do you think
Michael would benefit from, therapeutically or otherwise? If you were providing therapy for
Michael, what do you think would be the appropriate modality and/or focus for treatment?
Use the following references and more but these should guide you
RECOMMENDED BOOK: !
Mock, J. (2014). Redefining realness: My path to womanhood. New York, NY: Atria Books,
Simon & Schuster. Inc.
COURSE OUTLINE: !
CLASS 1 (3 hours): !
*Green, J. (2013, May 27). Parents of transgender children are faced with a difficult decision,
and it’s one they have to make sooner than they ever imagined. New York Magazine.
Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/features/transgender-children-2012-6/
*Padawer, R. (2012, August 8). What’s so bad about a boy who wants to wear a dress? The
New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/magazine/whatsso-
*Pyne, J. (2011). Unsuitable Bodies: Trans People and Cisnormativity in Shelter Services.
Canadian Social Work Review, 28 (1), 129-137.
*Smith, H. (2008). Search for Kinship: The Creation of Street Families Among Homeless Youth.
American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 756-771. !
-Vocabulary 101 (within a practice frame)
-Heteronormativity and homophobia & Cisnormativity and transphobia
-family rejection & homelessness among LGBTQ youth (causes and effects); intersectionality of
race and class !
1. Learn basic language and vocabulary that are appropriate when working with trans youth in an
2. Examine the concepts of heteronormativity and homophobia and cisnormativity and
transphobia to gain an understanding of how trans youth are influenced by these factors.
3. Gain an understanding of how the intersectionality of race and class, policy and practice, and
family rejection and correlate to trans youth homelessness, which will be examined through a
4. Provide examples of how language and attitudes of cisnormativity have come up in your work
with clients, and discuss what potential interventions have or could be utilized directly with
your clients and agencies. !!
CLASS 2 (3 hours):
*de Vries, A. L. C & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2012). Clinical Management of Gender Dysphoria in
Children and Adolescents: The Dutch Approach. Journal of Homosexuality, 59 (3),
* Langer, S. & Martin, J. (2004). How Dresses Can Make You Mentally Ill: Examining Gender
Identity Disorder in Children. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 21(1), 5-23.
* Wakefield, J. (2013). DSM-5: An Overview of Changes and Controversies. Clinical Social
Work Journal, 41, 139-154.
*Zucker, K. J. (2006). Commentary on Langer and Martin’s (2004) “How Dresses Can Make You
Mentally Ill: Examining Gender Identity Disorder in Children.” Child & Adolescent
Social Work Journal, 23(5-6), 533-555.
-DSM-IV & DSM-5: Gender Identity Disorder through Gender Dysphoria (the clinical debate on
diagnosis and pathology of trans populations)
-transgender youth and identity formation through a developmental lens !
1. Become familiar with the difference in the DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnostic categories for
2. Conceptualize how diagnosis pathologizes trans people, while also gaining an understanding
for the medical necessities of these diagnoses for some trans people.
3. Examine identity formation for trans youth and gain a sense of how this experience impacts
4. Discuss how to provide the best services for trans youth in your agency settings. We will
examine challenges have you may have encountered (including both topics that trans youth
bring to treatment and the overall agency’s response to serving trans youth populations), and
we will brainstorm ways handle these situations in the future, so you can preserve healthy
relationships with your clients. !!
CLASS 3 (3 hours):
*Donatone, B. & Rachlin, K. (2013). An Intake Template for Transgender, Transsexual,
Genderqueer, Gender Nonconforming, and Gender Variant College Students Seeking
Mental Health Services. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 27(3), 200-211. !
*Edwards-Leeper, L. & Spack, N. P. (2012). Psychological Evaluation and Medical Treatment of
Transgender Youth in an Interdisciplinary ‘Gender Management Service’ (GeMS) in a
Major Pediatric Center. Journal of Homosexuality, 59 (3), 321-336.
*Green, E. R. (2010). Shifting Paradigms: Moving Beyond “Trans 101” in Sexuality Education.
American Journal of Sexuality Education, 5(1), 1-16. !
*Kuklin, S. (2014). Cameron: Variables & Nat: Something Else. Beyond magenta: Transgender
teens speak out. (p. 91-45). Massachusetts: Candlewick Press. !
*Morrow, D. F. (2004). Social Work Practice with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
Adolescents. Families in Society (Jan-Mar 2004), 85(1), 91-99.
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