Bright Beginnings Summer Intensive: Early Child Development and Parenting Processes
July 21 - 24, 2014
Martha Edwards, PhD
Ackerman Institute for the Family is now located at 936 Broadway, between 22nd and 21st Streets. The offices are on the 2nd Floor.
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The Gender and Family Project
The Gender and Family Project empowers families of gender nonconforming and transgender children and adolescents by offering affirmative clinical services, professional training and community building. GFP also promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family. GFP is directed by Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT, who has trained nationally and internationally on issues of gender and sexuality.
Clinical and Community Services
GFP offers a range of psychosocial and community-oriented services, including a monthly multi-family support group for parents and a monthly play group for pre-teens. Psychosocial assessments and family therapy are available for families seeking individualized clinical services.
Multi-Family Group (for Parents of Children under 21)
Many parents feel concerned and uncertain about how to handle their children’s gender expression or identity when those do not align with social expectations or the child’s birth sex. While they can access information online, they might feel isolated, struggling to find other parents who can understand their dilemmas or appreciate their family accomplishments. While some parents find it easier to embrace gender-variance, other parents find themselves uncertain as to how best protect and nurture a child with gender fluidity.
This professionally facilitated support group provides parents a space to share their experiences, explore their dilemmas and hear the solutions and successes that other parents have found with their families. While emphasizing parents’ agenda, the group focuses on providing concrete means to foster positive parent-child relationships in an atmosphere that nurtures children’s development. Issues of disclosure to family members and friends, psychosocial and medical treatment, advocacy in schools, faith communities and other institutions are addressed.
The group meets on a monthly basis on Friday between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. It is facilitated by Jean Malpas, program director. It is open to all parents of gender nonconforming children up to 21. Attendance requires one face-to-face intake appointment. Fee is determined on a sliding scale based on income and ability to pay.
Download the group flier here.
Play Group (For children up to 13 years old)
GFP also offers a playgroup open to all gender nonconforming and transgender children up to the age of 13. It provides children with a supportive and positive space where they can socialize, play and engage in creative activities with other children expressing comparable ranges of gender fluidity. It is especially designed to run concurrently with the parents group and conveniently allows parents to meet while their children are having supervised fun in the same building. The group is facilitated by Project Associates Benjamin Davis, Astin Brown, Shannon Sennott and Rebecca Ross.
Download the group flier here.
GFP offers consultation and training to mental health professionals, educators and agencies involved with gender nonconforming or transgender children, adolescents and their families.
GFP offers consultation, training and resources to create gender inclusive schools. Programs aim at collaborating with the school administration, faculty, and staff to deepen their understanding of gender diversity and its connection to academic and emotional success for all students. GFP supports schools create or enhance an atmosphere of resect and safety in which optimal learning can be achieved. Training and education is also available for parents and students of all ages. Our stance, strategies and curriculum material are adapted from the framework developed by the Gender Spectrum, our national partner.
Join the Conversation with Gender and Family!
Publications and Resources
Families and Gender:
- Malpas, J. (2011). Between pink and blue: A multi-dimensional family approach to gender nonconforming children and their families, Family Process, 50, 4, pp. 453-470.
- Listen to Jean Malpas’ Psychotherapy Networker workshop on Gender Fluidity at: http://www.playbacknetworker.com/between-pink-and-blue-exploring-gender-fluidity
Couples and Gender:
- Malpas, J. (in press, 2012). Can Couples Change Gender: Couple Therapy with Transgender People and their Partners. In Bigner, J. & Wechtler, J. (Eds) Handbook of Couple and Family Therapy with LGBT People. New York: Routledge.
- Malpas, J. (2006). From ‘Otherness’ to Alliance: Transgender Couples in Therapy. In Journal of GLBT Family Studies, Volume 2, Numbers ¾, pp. 183-206.
Watch Jean Malpas discuss Gender in our Short Conversations series -
Learn more about Ackerman
Institute in this short video...