Programs in gender diversity are generally designed to help prepare mental health professionals and counselors to work with clients seeking therapy for gender identity, psychosexual development, and other related concerns. Programs may be offered at a variety of educational levels, but most commonly at the graduate level as a certificate or master’s program.
Topics of study may include psychology of gender; women’s studies; gay, lesbian, and bisexual studies, and human sexuality. At the graduate level, students may also have to complete original research, including some field work. This type of curriculum may be offered as a specialization within a more general psychology or counseling program as well.
Since specialists in this field will be working closely with clients and their families to provide therapy, they will need to have strong communication and listening skills. They may also work with groups, leading support sessions or talks.
Jobs for gender diversity specialists may be available with community centers, mental health facilities, non-profit organizations, or in private practice. If you are interested in working in private practice, you will most likely need to be licensed as a counselor. While specific requirements for licensure will vary by state, you will typically need at least a master’s, a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical practice, and the successful completion of a written exam. For more details on the governing boards for licensure in your area, check with the National Board for Certified Counselors.