Giving a voice to trans and gender-diverse people

14 February 2018

Clinicians from our Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) have contributed to new guidelines for speech and language therapists working with trans and gender-diverse people across the UK, published by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). 

RCSLT

The new training and competency framework for speech and language therapists sets out best practice for voice and communication assessment, therapy and advice for service users who identify as trans and/or gender-diverse.

Provision of speech and language therapy can help to reduce distress related to gender dysphoria, which can cause a significant lack of confidence and social participation.

Voice and communication therapy can also help trans and gender-diverse people to align their vocal and communicative expression with their identity in ways that feel congruent and authentic with their sense of self.

Every patient attending the GIC and currently accessing treatment can be referred for our specialist Voice and Communication Therapy by any of the clinicians.

Dr James Barrett, Dr Vanessa Crawford, Nicola Gorb, Matthew Mills and Gillie Stoneham joined other gender and voice experts from the National Transgender Voice and Communication Therapy Clinical Excellence Network to shape the framework, which is now available for download from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists website.  

The GIC speech and language therapy service has also developed a new training course, being held at the Tavistock Centre on 5-6 July 2018, with the competencies learned on the course directly related to the new framework.

Matthew Mills, Consultant Speech and Language Therapist (Voice and Communication) and Head of Speech and Language Therapist Service at Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, said

“The human voice is thought to be the most beautiful of all instruments, but one of the most challenging to ‘play’ because it exposes our vulnerabilities. My colleagues and I were delighted to partner with other leading clinicians to contribute to this guidance, and support provision of speech and language therapy for trans and gender-diverse people to help them discover their voice.” 

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