Effective and Compassionate Clinical Work for Gender-Expansive Children, Teens and Families – February through April, 2021

Note: This course will be repeated in September-November, 2021 and is presented in connection with the Institute for Girls’ Development, Pasadena, CA.

Presenter: Susan P. Landon, LMFT

This generation of youth is profoundly expanding our understanding of the possibilities available for gender identity and expression. In light of this, many clinicians who work with youth, despite their specializations, may find themselves working with a young client who holds a transgender or gender nonbinary (TGNB) identity and/or expression. Many of us have little training or experience working with these children, teens or their families. These presenters have many years of experience working to understand and help us understand the challenges faced by transgendered and non-binary people and their families.

Ms. Landon has been working with gender expansive youth and their families – particularly children (ages 3 and older) – for many years. She will be providing training on working with both teens and young children, but her emphasis will be on working with children and their families. The gender journey for these young ones is a specialized and unique area. Ms. Landon is interested in sharing her knowledge to those who will be expanding this work as it becomes more and more needed. Note: You do not have to be working with gender expansive youth at this time in order to attend and benefit.

Dates: Mondays: February 22 – April 12, 2021

Time: 11am – 1pm

Format: Secure Video/Zoom platform

Cost: $795 for the course.

$640 is the early bird special rate.

$395 for students and pre-licensed therapists.

CE Units: 16.0 (You must attend all 8 meetings to obtain CE credit. No partial credit can be given)

Course Level: This training would be most useful for beginning to intermediate practitioners in this area. No previous work with transgender, gender-fluid or gender non-binary clients is required.

Course Type: This course is modeled as a training seminar. Ms. Landon will share her theoretical and clinical knowledge and bring in knowledgeable speakers. Time for questions and discussion will be included.

Location: This professional training session is a live, interactive webinar. We will send you the link to join the session after your register.

LOGISTICS (Sign in/out, evaluations and certificates)
You will be asked to sign in and out of the event using the Chat feature of the webinar platform (SecureVideo). With a completed sign-in/sign-out, certificates will be emailed to the address you provide when you register. In addition, you will find a course evaluation in the materials that will be emailed to you when you register. This is a Word document which you can fill in and save. Please do so at the end of the program and return it by email to cdcooper@IFGD.care.


Clicking on
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After completion of this course participants will be able to…

1. provide a working definition of empathy as it relates to work with gender non-conforming and transgender children and teens and their families.

2. identify at least one negative outcome for the child or teen when appropriate empathy is not communicated.

3. identify the categories of identity and gender as they relate to gender expansive children

4. identify 3 therapeutic considerations in working with gender expansive children ages 0–4.

5. identify 2 strategies or considerations for working with schools on behalf of gender expansive children ages 4 – 9.

6. identify 3 developmental considerations in working with gender expansive children ages

7. identify 2 issues confronting pre-pubescent gender non-conforming and transgender children.

8. describe 3 talking points for talking with parents about decisions to be made regarding puberty.

9. provide a brief description of hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones.

10. provide a definition of “Gender Noise.”

11. identify 3 behavioral challenges of trans youth reaching adolescence.

12. articulate 2 ways to support trans youth in planning for the future.

13. identify 3 community resources for trans youth and families.

14. identify 2 things to consider regarding gender dysphoria across the lifespan.

15. articulate 3 factors in promoting resiliency and community for trans youth.

16. identify 3 “challenges” that Black and POC parents/caregivers address in the face of dominant cultural traditions.

17. articulate 2 considerations in culturally responsive therapy.

18. identify 3 things to consider from a medical standpoint when working with trans and nonbinary children, teens and families.


Sign-in (using the chat function on Zoom) will be from 10:45 – 11:00am. Course begins at 11:00am promptly. Sign-out at 1:00pm

Session 1: February 22, 2021

11:00 – 11:44 Introductions and overview of course goals.
11:45 – 12:20 Effective applications of empathy; Empathy (or lack of effectively communicated empathy) and the impact on gender dysphoria
12:20 – 12:45 Demonstrations and practice, plus debrief
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers

Session 2: March 1, 2021

11:00 – 11:30 Introduction
11:30 – 12:00 Categories of identity and gender as they relate to gender expansive youth.
12:00 – 12:45 Developmental, social, emotional and systemic considerations for children, families and schools. Children ages 0 – 4.
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 3: March 8, 2021

11:00 – 12:00 Developmental and clinical considerations for children, families and schools. Children 4 – 9
12:00 – 12:45 Working with children, families, and schools; Ages 4 – 9
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 4: March 15, 2021

1:00 – 12:00 Developmental and systemic considerations for pre-pubescent gender non-conforming and transgender children
12:00 – 12:45 Conversations with parents: What to say; How to say it.
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 5: March 22, 2021

11:00 – 12:00 Description of cis-gender teen developmental tasks and trans-teen developmental tasks.
12:00 – 12:45 Planning for the future and building community for trans youth
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 6: March 29, 2021

Guest speaker: Ayden Olson-Kennedy, LCSW
Executive Director, LA Gender Center

10:00 – 12:00 Gender dysphoria across the lifespan
12:00 – 12:45 Resiliency and community for trans youth
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 7: April 5, 2021
Cultural Responsiveness and Diversity

Guest Speaker: Sikivu Hutchenson
An American feminist, novelist, playwright and director, Ms. Hutchenson will frame an hour of this session to address Black and POC parent and caregiver challenges to white supremacist, heteronormative, dominant cultural traditions. www.sikivuhutchenson.com

11:00 – 12:00 Presentation by Ms. Hutchenson on parenting trans youth as parents/caregivers of color.
12:00 – 12:45 Considerations for culturally responsive therapy with trans children, teens and families.
12:45 – 1:00 Questions and answers; Feedback

Session 8: April 12, 2021

Guest Speaker: Johanna Olson-Kennedy, M.D.
Medical Director, The Center for TransYouth Health
Children’s Hospital LA

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

11:00 – 12:00 Presentation by Dr. Olson-Kennedy
12:00 – 1:00 Course summary/wrap up. Evaluations


Susan Landon (LMFT 23019) has been in clinical practice in Santa Monica, CA since 1987 where she provides counseling to individuals, couples, children, and families. She received her BA (1981) and a MA in Counseling Psychology (1984) from Goddard College in Los Angeles. Her specialty over the last 10 years has been working with gender non-conforming children and adolescents. In addition, she is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Program at the Los Angeles Gender Center and is on the Advisory Board of Transforming Family. Transforming Family is a 501(c)3 sponsored by L.A. Children’s Hospital and the L.A. Gender Center. This program provides a monthly playgroup for young gender diverse children, a tween group, a rap group for teenagers, a sibling group, and a parent support group.

Ms. Landon is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). She has attended and presented at numerous conferences and seminars focused on gender expansive youth.

GUEST PRESENTERS (will present with Ms. Landon during a session)

Aydin Olson-Kennedy (LCSW 82313) earned his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, with an emphasis on Social Work, Sociology and Multi-Cultural and Gender Studies, and his Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Chico. He currently is the Director of the L.A. Gender Center, has offices in South Pasadena and Studio City and has provided training on gender issues to numerous schools and other organizations.

Aydin is a transgender man who transitioned in 2007. Since then, he has dedicated himself to learning and growing to gain a better understanding of how gender dysphoria impacts people, parents, families, and communities and the role mental health can play in helping people heal from the trauma of gender dysphoria. He states:

Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis that describes the distress or discomfort associated with the incongruence between one’s assigned sex and gender identity. What the diagnosis does not represent, and is often poorly understood, is the experience of dysphoria. Physical or social role dysphoria, and what I call “gender dysphoria noise” can lead to anxiety, depression, and isolation.

Sikivu Hutchenson, PhD  is an American feminist, novelist, playwright  and director. She is the author of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Heretic (2021), Humanists in the Hood: Unapologetically Black, Feminist, and Heretical (2020), White Nights, Black Paradise (2015), Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (2011), and Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (2003). Moral Combat is the first book on atheism to be published by an African-American woman. In 2013 she was named Secular Woman of the year and in 2020 she was a recipient of the Harvard Humanist of the Year award.

Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD is an Adolescent Medicine physician specializing in the care of gender non-conforming children and transgender youth. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson has been an Assistant Professor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for the past nine years. Dr. Olson has been providing medical intervention for transgender youth and young adults including puberty suppression and cross sex hormones for the past six years, and is considered a national expert in this area. Dr. Olson is the Medical Director of The Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, the largest transgender youth clinic in the United States. Dr. Olson has appeared frequently on national television, and spoken all over the country to educate providers, parents, and other communities about the needs of transgender youth.


Illuminated Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Illuminated Education maintains the responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Psychology accepts APA approval for continuing education credit. In addition, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA approval for CE activities for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPPCs and/or LEPs.

Outside of California, please check with your licensing board to see whether APA approval is accepted for CE credit in your state. Please call Dr. Chris Cooper (Illuminated Education CE Coordinator) if you have further questions (626-744-9472).


If there are any accommodations which would be of benefit of if you would like a refund after you register, please contact Lisa Brooks, at LBrooks@IFGD.care or 626.585.8075 ext. 115.

For (1) questions about CE credit, or (2) if you have concerns about any aspect of the course or wish to know about the Illuminated Education grievance policy, please contact Dr. Chris Cooper, CE Coordinator, Illuminated Education (626-744-9472 or cdcooperphd@earthlink.net)

For questions about program content please contact Paige Hobey, Director of Community Education and Outreach, at the Institute for Girls’ Development (626-585-8075 ext. 121) or PHobey@IFGD.care.



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