Expired Deconstructing the Gender Binary

LGBTQ+ folks often seek out psychotherapists because they are struggling with stigma—that which we experience from society, family, and peers, and that which we experience internally. This stigma, also called minority stress, has a significant impact on the mental health of queer and trans people, who are at higher risk for depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidality.

In this workshop, participants will explore and unpack an underlying cause of sexual and gender minority stress—the gender binary. The gender binary is a social construct that encompasses biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and attraction. It is a powerful discourse that operates in the background of our daily lives and is at the source of sexual and gender-based prejudice. Through experiential activities, small and large group discussion, and role plays, participants will learn to identify the gender binary in real world and clinical examples and have powerful conversations that deconstruct and dismantle the impact of the binary on their lives and the lives of their clients.

Learning Objectives:

      • To describe the relationship between minority stress and LGBTQ+ health disparities
      • To identify ways the gender binary creates and maintains sexual and gender-based minority stress
      • To demonstrate conversations to deconstruct the gender binary in order to reduce minority stress


Erica E. Hartwell, PhD, LMFT is the director and founder of the Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health Certificate at Fairfield University. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Therapy and Social Work, where her teaching, supervision, and scholarship focus on creating community, compassion, and justice. Dr. Hartwell is committed to elevating the lives and well-being of queer and trans people. To that end, she created Pride & Wellness, a health and wellness fair for the LGBTQ community in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She served as the first chair of AAMFT’s Queer and Trans Advocacy Network and led the development of the Clinical Guidelines for LGBTQIA Affirming Marriage and Family Therapy. She currently serves on several boards: the AAMFT; the Triangle Community Center in Norwalk, CT; and the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center.

Return to Workshops

  • October 28, 2022
    1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Erica E. Hartwell, PhD, LMFT

3 CE Contact Hours

Location:   Online Event


A link will be emailed to you one day before the event. Online events are held in Eastern Standard Time (ET).

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