An Eco-Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Families with LGBTQ+ Youth

CE Hours: 4.5
Instructor: Sabrina Valente, MA

Friday, April 16th, 2021 Norristown Via Zoom
Friday, April 23rd, 2021 Philhaven Via Zoom
Thursday, April 29th, 2021 Altoona Via Zoom

More and more frequently, clinicians who work in intensive, in-home programs are encountering clients who identify LGBTQ+.  Youth are coming out earlier and earlier; indeed some children identify as the other gender from a very young age. At times the parents, caregivers, and families that these children reside in are not accepting or supportive of the youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the same time, clinicians have to manage their own beliefs around this sensitive topic, often with little to no training in this topic area. In this didactic, participants will first be introduced to the most up-to-date terminology as we discuss why the language and labels that we use matter. Participants will learn about LGBTQ issues such as coming out and why it is important. Attention will be paid to gender identity, the difference between transgender youth and gender variant youth, and medical and non-medical intervention for transgender youth. Particular focus will be given to how to work with a family in which the caregiver is non-supportive/non-accepting of their LGBTQ+ youth and participants will learn to create a relational reframe that highlights the family’s good intentions. A systemic approach to treatment will be weaved into this didactic that includes the larger ecosystem and explains why this is especially crucial when working with these families. 


 As a result of participating in this training, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the most up-to-date and commonly used terminology for LGBTQ youth
  2. Identify common themes in the coming-out experience and link them to family process
  3. Describe differences between transgender and gender variant/non-conforming youth
  4. Recognize both non-medical and medical interventions for transgender youth, and the requirements to access medical interventions
  5. Identify systemic interventions that can be used when working with LGBTQ youth and their families
  6. Create and maintain a relational reframe with non-supportive/accepting parents of LGBTQ youth that highlights families good intentions

About The Trainer

Sabrina Valente, MA, (she/her) is a therapist and program director who has worked in the mental health system for over 14 years. She has spent the last five of those years working in Family-Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) in Pennsylvania as a Program Director. Sabrina completed her training as a Family-Based Mental Health Professional and Family-Based Mental Health Supervisor through the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center (PCFTTC).  She is now on the PCFTTC teaching faculty in addition to her current position as the Program Director of Laurel Life’s FBMHS program. Sabrina earned a Master’s in Forensic Psychology from Argosy University.

Sabrina has extensive clinical knowledge in working with the LGBTQ+ community. She has actively developed safe space programs in her community for LGBTQ+ youth and has presented on LGBTQ+ youth at conferences. Sabrina currently has multiple teaching/training roles in addition to that at PCFTTC.  This includes training in trauma as a Certified Family Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals.  Additionally, she is a certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Trainer through Living Works, as well as a SCM (Safe Crisis Managment) Trainer through JKM Trainining. She also been trained as a Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) trainer through the GEMS program.

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