‘Zoom’ workshops:

Working with Transgender Clients

The numbers of individuals seeking treatment for Gender Variance (previously known as Gender Dysphoria) is, according to GIRES, doubling every five years. As counsellors, if you haven’t already worked with a trans client, there is a very good chance that you will.

But, will you be ready for them? I was recently approached by a new client who said: ‘I've seen two counsellors over the years, but neither had any experience in gender identity issues so their help has been limited.” Others have complained about having to spend half the sessions educating counsellors about trans issues.

I've been counselling trans people since 2001, I’m a counselling supervisor, I've chaired a number of Trans and LGBT+ organisations and supported many individuals going through transition - including briefing their managers/ organisations.

Overall, I’ve probably worked with 1,000+ trans individuals. I’ve also been through the process myself and, whilst it’s important not to assume that all trans peoples’ experiences are the same (they’re not), it has given me an insight into common situations we face.

I’m also an author of four books relating to the trans community including an autobiography, a novel and a handbook: “Understanding Gender Variance”.

These workshops are planned to share my experience and give a greater understanding of trans issues and some pitfalls you may need to avoid.

The sessions will start at 7pm and last approximately 2 hours.

They cover:

Trans terms – what they mean

Understanding “trans” – including the transition process

Issues faced by trans people

Implications of legislation including Gender Recognition Act 2004 and Equality Act 2010

How to avoid unlawful disclosure of “protected information” and consequential criminal record

Questions and Answer session

The workshops include presentations and audience participation.

Target Audience

This workshop will be of interest to those counselling individuals with gender identity issues (transgendered, transsexual, transvestite, intersexed, non-binary and gender. As there is significant common ground between gender identity and sexuality, those working with gay, lesbian and bisexual clients should also find this workshop of value.


At the end of the workshop, attendees should be aware of:

the gender identity spectrum, many of the labels used and what they mean

the importance of the difference between sex and gender

the nurture/ nature causality debate and how both nurture and nature affect trans people

the relevance of brain sex and how we are all transgendered

the "transitional journey" for transsexual people and issues that arise from that journey

the importance of not disclosing “protected information” and the effects of the Gender Reassignment Regulations and the Gender Recognition Act – including avoiding getting a criminal record and a £5,000 fine for breaching the Act.

implications of the Equality Act 2010


The workshop fee of £30 includes a copy of “Understanding Gender Variance” – usual paperback price is £19.99. Early bird bookers will also receive a copy of my autobiography “A Tale of Two Lives” (usual paperback price £9.99) - making the event just 2p!

Assessment as a Presenter

My workshops consistently achieve excellent feedback. I received the “Communications Award” at the first National Probation Service Diversity Awards and a Butler Trust Award as well as several staff awards from Greater Manchester Probation Trust for this work.

You can, therefore, be assured of high quality and knowledgeable content.

Typical evaluations from workshops:

Assessments of my presentations are consistently very positive - scoring an average of 4.7/5 on meeting objectives, effectively presented and delegates being able to apply the learning

Comments on presentations/ workshops:

very good presentation. Fully made me aware of how little knowledge I had of the issues; thanks

comprehensive information well presented; I'd like more training

whole input was informative and empowering; very useful information delivered in an accessible manner

facilitator/ trainer very informed/ knowledgeable on subject

loads of useful information; needed to be longer

enjoyed the briefing, Helen made the event fun but filled us all in on all the facts and provided lots of insight and knowledge

the event should be mandatory for all staff to attend

Quite seriously it was the most fact filled, fascinating talk that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

I really enjoyed your talk. I usually get bored after 30 mins on zoom but you held my attention.

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