Deb Coolhart, PhD, LMFT, is a private practice clinician and an assistant professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Syracuse University. She has been doing therapy with LGBTQ youth and their families for nearly 20 years. She created the Transgender Treatment Team in Syracuse University’s Couple and Family Therapy Center, where she trains and supervises masters students to work with transgender people and their families.
Dr. Coolhart has several publications on clinical work with LGBTQ youth. Her recent work has focused on transgender youth and their families. She has developed a tool for assessing youths’ and families’ readiness for gender transition treatments, published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. She has also published multiple manuscripts on supporting transgender youth and families in therapy and advocating for trans-affirmative school environments. Recently, she co-authored a book, The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity. Additionally, Dr. Coolhart has conducted research on transgender people and their family relationships and the experiences of LGBTQ homeless youth.
Financial: Deborah Coolhart is an assistant professor at Syracuse University. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-Financial: Deborah Coolhart is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; American Family Therapy Academy; and World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Arlene Istar Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC, is founder and clinical director of Choices Counseling and Consulting and TIGRIS: The Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality in Albany, NY. She is a lecturer at the University at Albany, and project director of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project (SOGI). Istar is also clinical supervisor for Center Support Counseling Services at the Pride Center of the Capital Region. She is author of The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide and Transgender Emergence, winner of the APA Division
Jayme Peta, MA, MS, has been working with and for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth for over fifteen years. Peta holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Naropa University, and is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University. Peta has given numerous trainings and workshops on working with transgender populations, and taught as an adjunct instructor in Naropa University’s psychology department. Peta’s current research examines the childhood experiences of transgender adults.
Ryan K. Sallans, MA, is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher, and author of the book Second Son. Sallans specializes in health care, workplace, and college campus issues surrounding the LGBTQIA community, with a specialized focus on the transgender community. For the past fifteen years, he has worked with organizations and universities on LGBTQ social issues, creating transgender-inclusive environments, and media literacy related to eating disorders, body image, and gender.
Rylan Jay Testa, PhD, is assistant professor in the psychology department at Rhodes College, and research affiliate of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR). As a clinical psychologist, his research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive behaviors and health disparities, particularly among transgender and gender-nonconforming people. He is highly respected for his work in both the field of psychology and in the transgender and gender-nonconforming community.
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