Leone Centre Glossary

Gender identity in LGBTQI therapy

Gender identity

Gender identity refers to an individual’s deeply felt sense of their own gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth. It encompasses a broad spectrum of identities beyond the binary framework of male and female, including non-binary, genderqueer, and agender identities.

Approaching gender identity

Many individuals face challenges in understanding and expressing their gender identity. These challenges can include societal pressures, discrimination, and internal conflicts. In LGBTQI therapy, addressing these issues is essential for supporting individuals in their journey towards self-acceptance and authenticity.

Exploring gender identity

Gender identity is a personal and intrinsic aspect of who someone is. It involves one’s internal sense of being male, female, a blend of both, or neither. Understanding gender identity requires recognising the diversity of experiences and expressions that exist within the LGBTQI community.

Role in therapy

Affirming and supportive therapeutic environments are important for individuals exploring their gender identity. In LGBTQI therapy, experienced therapists provide a safe space for clients to discuss and explore their gender identity. This support helps individuals to better understand themselves and manage any associated stress or anxiety.

Therapeutic approaches

Therapists use various methods to support individuals exploring their gender identity, including:

  1. Creating an affirming and non-judgmental space for discussion.
  2. Providing education about gender diversity and identity.
  3. Supporting clients in exploring their gender identity and expression.
  4. Helping clients to manage societal and internal pressures related to gender identity.


What is gender identity?
Gender identity is an individual’s personal sense of their own gender, which may include identities beyond male and female.
How does LGBTQI therapy support gender identity exploration?
LGBTQI therapy offers a supportive space for individuals to explore their gender identity, providing understanding, affirmation, and ways to manage related challenges.
Why is affirming gender identity important in therapy?
Affirming gender identity is important in therapy as it helps individuals to feel understood and supported, reducing distress and promoting mental well-being.


  1. American Psychological Association. (2020). Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people.
  2. Lev, A. I. (2004). Transgender emergence: Therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision