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Deconstructing Gender: Trans & Non Binary Identities with assessment and letter writing training.

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Taught by Van Ethan Levy and moderated by Joel Schwartz, PsyD, of Total Spectrum Counseling

Recorded on September 10, 2021

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 3.0 CEs for Psychologists and 3.0 BBS California CEUs for licensed Counselors, Social Workers and LMFTs.

Program Description:

Gender is a societal construct that is problematic and has negative emotional, physical and/or psychological impact on people, especially those who fall outside of what is constructed as “normal.” Clients who are trans/nonbinary/gender nonconforming, etc. particularly clients of color and more specifically Black trans folx, are overly misdiagnosed with mental health issues due to the lack of cultural competency and cultural humility. In this training, we will deconstruct gender constructs through a trauma informed lens, while learning how to identify and eradicate our own internalized biases, in order to create safer spaces for clients who identify within and/or are exploring their trans identity.

This workshop provides mental health professionals with tools on how to assess and write a letter for trans/non binary/non-conforming and/or many more non cis clients for surgery/hormones/name change/gender marker change and more in one session.  Participants will also learn trauma informed ways to engage with the trans/non binary/non conforming/ and many more identities. Participants will leave the workshop with a wealth of knowledge and accessible tools to assess and write a letter for clients so that the client can gain access to affirming care.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory-level workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Clinicians will be able to assess clients and write letters in order to increase access to affirming procedures for trans/non binary and/or many more non cis clients after one session with client.
  2. Learners will be able to define internalized/externalized transphobia and describe 3 ways in which they manifest.
  3. Learners will describe 3 ways in which a clinician can create a space that is more affirming to trans clients.

Professional Bio of Presenter Van Ethan Levy, MA in Clinical Psychology, LMFT & LPCC, Mental Health Clinician, Author, Organizer, Educator, & Activist:

Van Ethan Levy is a trans and non-binary therapist who uses they/them pronouns.  Van received their MA in Clinical Psychology in 2017.  Van holds multiple licenses, LPCC & LMFT and started in their private practice 2020.  Van has been an advocate, educator, and activist for the trans community since 2000.  Van developed their own curriculum and teaches at North Orange County Education, Antioch University and MiraCosta College. Van provides consultation, trainings, education and therapy all over the United States.  Van is also a published author Exploring My Identity(ies), which is an interactive book designed for all people and ages to explore their identities and create safer spaces for themselves and others.

Professional Bio of Moderator Joel Schwartz, PsyD, Lead Psychologist at Total Spectrum Counseling and Schwartz Neurodiversity Services (Licensed in CA and CO):

Dr. Joel Schwartz is a licensed clinical psychologist (CA – PSY 29887, CO – PSY.0005190) practicing in Southern California with Total Spectrum Counseling. He specializes in therapy and testing for the misunderstood. He provides therapy, testing, and education, specifically around areas of Neurodiversity.

Dr. Schwartz grew up in Southern California. Dr. Schwartz attended UCLA as an undergrad where he conducted research in the field of neurolinguistics. From there, he attended Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School of Clinical Psychology for his Master’s and Doctorate degree. He has worked in various settings including colleges, clinics, a federal prison, and residential treatment centers.

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education STANDARD 1.3:   Program content focuses on topics related to psychological practice, education, or research other than application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures.

This program meets APA’s continuing education GOAL 2: Program will enable psychologists to keep pace with the most current scientific evidence regarding assessment, prevention, intervention, and/or education, as well as important relevant legal, statutory, leadership, or regulatory issues.


Budge, S.L. & dickey, l.m. (2016). Barriers, Challenges, and Decision-Making in the Letter Writing Process for Gender Transition. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 40 (1), 65-78.

Mackinnon, K.R. Grace, D., Ng, S.L, et. al. (2020). I don’t think they thought I was ready”: How pre-transition assessments create care inequities for trans people with complex mental health in Canada. International Journal of Mental Health, 49 (1),56-80.

Torjesen I. (2018). Trans health needs more and better services: increasing capacity, expertise, and integration. BMJ, 362, k3371

Adler, Richard K. (2018). Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/ Gender Diverse Client (A Comprehensive Clinical Guide) 3rd Edition

Chang, Sand C., Singh, A.A. & dickey, l.m. (2018). A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients

Levy, V. E. (August, 10, 2020). Exploring my Identity(ies). Independently published. Retrieved from

Levy, Van. Ethan.  (2020, July 17). They/them pronouns. Retrieved from

Levy, Van. Ethan.  (2020, July 14). What is internalized transphobia and where does it come from?. Retrieved from

Levy, Van. Ethan.  (2020, July 14). International non binary day and the importance 2020. Retrieved from

Levy, Van. Ethan.  (2020, April 18). Deconstructing Gender. Retrieved from

Registration Fee:

Presentation and CEs  –  $175


Target Audience: Healthcare and Mental healthcare professionals, University faculty and students.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 3.0 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Danielle Bohrer at 312-467-2364. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 3.0 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.