Supporting Gender Diverse Youth
I attended the Supporting Diverse Gender Youth training at Lynchburg College. This training was sponsored by the Virginia Counseling Association. The facilitator was Dr. Laura Farmer, Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and the President of the VA-ALGBTIC which is a sub group of the Virginia Counseling Association. Dr. Farmer teaches ethics courses at Virginia Tech so she made that the foundation of the training that she presented. The training featured faculty members, graduate students, community providers, and school counselors. The training allowed us to look at gender issues from a number of different elements. We first focused on laying the foundation. In laying the foundation Dr. Farmer made sure that we all had a base understanding of gender related terminology. We each were given a sheet and encouraged to get into groups to link definitions to various terms. With this activity even seasoned professionals had their struggles. It made me realize that no matter how long we spend in the profession there is always room to learn and better ourselves. Next we talked about the areas of competence that we would need as professionals in our work with gender diverse students. The final elements that helped to tie things together included a discussion of best practices, ethical considerations, and ways in which we can improve our school and work environments. This was the most beneficial element of the day as it allowed many folks in the room to share experiences specific to their work environment.
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