Paradigm Shift: Toward Evidence-Based Practices Supporting Gender Variance
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Researchers from a variety of academic disciplines note a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of gender in the literature, a change in thinking beginning in the 1990s and continuing to evolve today (Bockting, 2005, 2007; Denny, 2004; Ekins& King, 2006; Goethals &Schwiebert, 2005; Monro, 2007). The transition from a traditional masculine-feminine binary perspective of gender to a pluralistic or multidimensional view has yet to be fully realized in practice. Counselling processes and interventions relevant to gender-variant individuals must be developed based on foundational research that does not yet exist. In the current study, I interview four insider experts using the phenomenological methodology described by Clark Moustakas (1994). This data is analyzed for common themes in order to produce a bottom-up description of the phenomenon of gender variance. I hope ultimately to improve the quality and availability of evidence-based guidelines for counsellors working with gender-variant individuals, and to increase visibility and awareness of gender-variant individuals within the helping professions and society at large.