Log in


When The Vulnerable Child is a Different Gender

by Xi Lui, and Ben Callegari


Transgender and gender nonconfirming (TGNC) individuals have a great need for affirmation of their gender identity from their family and peer groups, particular during early childhood where gender dysphoria is often first experienced. However, due to the significant level of societal stigma and and discrimination, a large proportion of TGNC experience verbal and physical violence by their family and peers due to their gender expression. Given this, it is expected that early maladaptive schemas are highly prevalent in this group, particularly in the disconnection/rejection domain. Limited Reparenting with this population must include affirmation of the client’s gender identity (which is incongruent with their sex assigned at birth) in order to provide a corrective emotional experience.

When engaging in any mode level interventions, the Child modes can be triggering for some TGNC clients as it is often expressed as the sex assigned at birth, rather than the gender identity of the client. Also, special care must be taken to identify unmet needs due to rejection, discrimination and abuse due to the client’s gender identity. Two case presentations with TGNC individuals will be used to explore some of the ways Schema Therapy can be respectfully adapted and how a strong therapeutic alliance can be formed.

Expected Points of Discussion:
1 How to use Imagery Rescripting respectfully with transgender and gender nonconfirming (TGNC) individuals
2  Mode work with TGNC individuals
3  Managing complex trauma with TGNC individuals
Understanding societal discrimination and family origins of early maladaptive schemas

Discussant 1

Name: Dr Xi Liu

Discussant 2

Name: Ben Callegari

About the Presenters:

Xi Lui:

Dr Xi Liu is an advanced accredited ISST schema therapist and trainer/supervisor. She is a Sydney based Clinical Psychologist who delivers face to face therapy from her practice in Newtown, as well as working online with clients across five continents. She regularly provides therapy to staff deployed with Doctors without Borders (MSF) while on mission and around the world. She is the Chair of the Online Schema Therapy Special Interest Group and have presented at symposiums at the International Society for Schema Therapy Conference in Amsterdam and Rome on adapting Schema Therapy for Online Treatment. She has also presented on the topic of Digital Technologies in Mental Health at the Black Dog Institute in Australia. Xi specializes with creative, multicultural and LGBTQ clients on complex trauma, grief, personality disorders and Axis I mood disorders. In her previous working life, Xi has also worked in User Interface, Data Management and Website Design in the Corporate and Not for Profit Sector. 

Ben Callegari:

coming soon

Why Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

"Be the Change You Help Create"

Whether you are a clinician, researcher, educator, or a supporter, we have a place for you in our community. Visit our "Join us" page to find out more about the many benefits ISST offers, and to apply for membership now.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software