Gender and Family

GFPThe 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, parental coaching and family therapy are available for families seeking individualized clinical 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.

Click on the group flier for details below.
GFP__Group Flier-3

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.

Click on the group flier for details below.
GFP__Group Flier-3

Training Services

GFP offers consultation and training to mental health professionals, educators and agencies involved with gender nonconforming or transgender children, adolescents and their families.

School Trainings

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 to 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.

Jean Malpas, Director
The Gender and Family Project
212 879-4900, ext. 150

To become a friend of the project, please contact Adriana Londono at

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Publications and Resources

Families and Gender:

  1. 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.
  2. Listen to Jean Malpas’ Psychotherapy Networker workshop on Gender Fluidity at:

Couples and Gender:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:


Gala Recap 2014

Short Conversations


Upcoming Workshops

  • Secrets in Families and Family Therapy

    Secrets have existed throughout time. In every culture, beliefs about secrecy, privacy and openness contribute to a crucial decision – should I keep a secret? Should I open a secret? As therapists, we are witnesses to the complexity of our clients’ secrets. Whether shaped in the interior of a family fifty years ago or yesterday, secrets carry powerful new meanings in today’s culture. In this workshop, participants will learn a multi-systemic model for working effectively with secrets.

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  • Breathwork and Meditation for Therapists: Integrate Stress-Reduction Techniques into Your Practice

    Psychotherapists looking to compliment their practices can benefit greatly from mind-body practices rooted in yoga, qigong and Buddhist meditation. Coherent Breathing and Open Focus Meditation are two highly effective self-regulation techniques that help relieve anxiety, improve focus and increase one’s feeling of well-being.

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  • Two Approaches to Healing Ruptured Bonds: Ackerman Relational Trauma Therapy and Attachment Focused Family Therapy

    This two day workshop offers an opportunity for participants to experience two different, but complimentary approaches to working with children and family members to resolve conflicts and traumatic experiences.

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  • Family-Based Treatment for Adolescent Eating Disorders: An Introduction to the Principles and Practice of the “Maudsley Method”

    Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are pernicious eating disorders that typically onset in adolescence and are associated with disruptions in physical and psychological development. Revised diagnostic criteria in DSM-5 are more developmentally sensitive and will improve case identification, which in turn will increase the demand for effective interventions.

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  • Rekindling Intimacy: A Clinical Framework for Couples Therapists

    When couples come to therapy their yearnings for intimacy are often buried behind encrusted resentments, disappointments and power struggles. This workshop offers a valuable clinical framework to help couples get beneath their defensiveness and rekindle emotional and sexual intimacy in their relationships.

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