February 5, 2010
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, APR
Transitioning at College:
How to Be An Ally
for Transgendered Individuals
Reid Vanderburgh, M.A., LMFT, will speak at the college
at noon on Monday, Feb. 22
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Gender identity – and supporting those with gender issues – will be the focus of the Clark College Mental Health Mondays discussion on Feb. 22.
The session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Clark’s Penguin Student Lounge, located in the college’s Penguin Union Building. The event is free and open to the public.
Clark College’s main campus is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Driving directions and parking maps are available at www.clark.edu/maps.
The guest speaker will be Reid Vanderburgh, M.A, LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist). Vanderburgh is a therapist in private practice in Portland, Ore. He began his personal transition in 1995 and began taking hormones in 1997, at the age of 41. In 1998, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Portland State University. In 2001, he received a master of arts degree in counseling psychology (with a specialization in transpersonal psychology) from John F. Kennedy University's Graduate School for Holistic Studies.
Vanderburgh’s thesis topic was “Gender Dissonance: A New Paradigm,” in which he presented a new way of conceptualizing therapy with transgendered clients, using a model of identity emergence rather than a medical model of psychological pathology. He now utilizes this model in his work with trans clients.
Vanderburgh is member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (formerly Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, or HBIGDA) and the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Vanderburgh says, “My job is to facilitate a process of self-knowledge, as my clients figure out who they are and who they want to become during the course of their life transformative process. I am a witness to process, and an occasional guide along the way. It is my job to help clients along their path, without determining for them what direction the journey may take.”
He adds, “The question I help clients answer is, ‘How do I want to live my life?’ When a client's path includes transition from one gender role/bodily sex to another, I also offer occasional observations from my own experience of transition, and what I've noticed witnessing many other transition processes. While I may make occasional observations to clients, there isn't a ‘one size fits all’ transition path, no right or wrong way to actualize core identity. Thus, if a client tells me something completely different from anything I've experienced or heard before, my reaction is not to judge them wrong, but to thank them for teaching me something new.”
Additional information about Reid Vanderburgh is available at www.transtherapist.com.
The “Mental Health Mondays” sessions are sponsored by the Clark College Counseling Center. For additional information, call 360-992-2902.