Starting the Certification Process
Tomorrow continues my journey in earning The World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Global Education Initiative certification (otherwise known as the WPATH GEI). If I understand correctly, The WPATH has decided to award certifications to professionals who have completed certain requirements showing that these professionals will provide the best practices in transgender health to their clients.
One can be a member of WPATH and not have completed the certification; thus, this course is, officially, optional. I think that many medical and mental health clinicians working with transgender individuals will probably try and complete the certification. It is, though, a financial and time commitment. The Certificate does help professionals have the most up to date information on serving the transgender populations as properly as possible.
I feel a little torn about the whole certification process, honestly. I’m going into the training knowing that my goal is to learn all that I can so that I can be the best psychologist possible.
I’m torn because I don’t like that my role as psychologist is to be a gatekeeper of medical services for transgender clients.
At my heart of hearts, I think that anyone who identifies as transgender and wants to medically transition ( whatever that looks like to the specific person) should be able to get the services they need.
Unless I am incredibly concerned about them not being able to properly care for themselves and even then I would question myself,
I don’t want to keep anyone from getting medical transition - related interventions.
In addition, the course is expensive and needs to be taken in person, thus, needing its students (like myself) to take off time from work to get to the conference and stay there for at least a couple of days unless they happen to live in the area. I am grateful, though, that this time the course is offered in Los Angeles so that I can drive there.
I’m beginning the process to learn all that I can. I look forward to processing my feelings through blogging and connecting with colleagues as I continue this journey to be the best psychologist for people who identify as transgender as I can be.
Here are the requirements for the certificate: http://s3.amazonaws.com/amo_hub_content/Association140/files/path-to-certification.pdf
I’ll be beginning the first part of the requirements:
15 CE minimum hours of the WPATH Foundations Course set over 2 full days
I’ll also be attending the course on documentation on Wednesday as I want to make sure that I am following the appropriate policies when writing clients letters for those who need medical transition.
Here’s the schedule for the next few days for those of us taking the Foundations Course:
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
A Global Education Initiative
8:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Introduction to Trans Health
9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Cultural Considerations: Incorporating Gender Affirming Care
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Legal and Policy Panel
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Foundations in Mental Health
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Gender Dysphoria and Nonconformity and the Pre-Pubertal Child: Understanding Clinical Issues and Gender Development
3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Mental Health and Hormonal Treatment in Adolescents
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Foundations in Hormonal Treatment
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Foundations in Primary Care for Transgender Patients
10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Overview of Surgical Treatment
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Caring for the Transitioning Client
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Multi-Disciplinary Team: Case Discussions
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Click HERE for the schedule.
I think that I am most excited about the courses “overview of surgical treatment” and “caring for the transitioning client.” I’m especially on the lookout for how religion is discussed during this two-day course extravaganza.
I’m also looking forward to the NETWORKING breaks. I love meeting new people and getting to know people more with whom I’ve been lucky enough to already have connected. I hope to expand my networks in order to find more fabulous San Diego-based clinicians and medical doctors with whom to direct my colleagues, clients, and community.
Here’s to a packed two and a half days of learning!
I’ll do my best to share what I learn when I learn it.
What questions would you have for the WPATH teaching team?
I'm happy to make note of the answers if they come up or find a time to ask on your behalf, as appropriate.
In solidarity for accessible health care,
Dr. Abi Weissman