Online Group Psychotherapy to Increase Self-acceptance and Reduce Shame Among Transgender Migrants: An Observational Report

Mihriban Heval ÖZGEN, Cato MH de VOS, Özgün YAĞMUR, Jae SEVELİUS
2024 35(1): 8-13
DOI: 10.5080/u27170
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Objective: Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people experience
higher levels of stigma, discrimination, and interpersonal violence due
to their gender identity and/or expression, particularly TGD people
with a migration background. This study aimed to conduct and evaluate
group psychotherapy for TGD migrants to provide opportunities for
exploring and developing interpersonal skills and relationships.
Method: The group therapy included five individuals who identified as
TGD and originated from the Middle East. The TGD group therapy
consisted of 12 weekly sessions of 90 minutes each and was facilitated
by a psychiatrist. All sessions were conducted online and in Turkish. The
sessions were guided by the group process and discussions.
Results: After completing 12 group therapy sessions, members of the
group reported benefiting from observing and emulating others who
shared their problem constellation. Through the interpersonal skills that
they built up throughout the sessions, they became more open to share
their feelings experiencing fewer social barriers, and reduced anxiety.
Conclusion: This observational study indicates the significance of
offering group-based psychotherapy to enhance affirmation and social
connection within gender minority groups and emphasizes the need to
empirically evaluate the effectiveness of group psychotherapy with TGD
individuals, with special attention to the unique needs of TGD migrants.
Keywords: Migrant, Transgender, Gender-diverse, Online Therapy,
Group Therapy