Case Study of Nikki – counseling work
Nikki is a 17-year-old male-to-female transgender client. She was sent to counseling by her parents because of their concern that she has become more withdrawn in the past few months. They noticed that she spends much of her time alone in her room and sometimes does not go to school. They are fearful that she will not be able to graduate and go on to college. Nikki disclosed to the counselor that she began to be bullied by her classmates after she asked a friend to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Since then, her classmates have shunned her and she has not felt safe going to school. She mentioned that she would prefer to be homeschooled or to drop out of school. During the course of therapy, the counselor spent time validating Nikki’s experiences, providing psychoeducation to her parents about the effects of bullying, and advocating with school administrators to provide a safe learning environment for her. Nikki eventually was allowed to pursue independent studies while taking select classes with supportive educators who were able to provide her a safe space on campus so that she could work steadily toward graduating with honors.
Counseling Across Cultures (Kindle Locations 7421-7429). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
- How might you create space for Nikki to explore her gender identity and expressions?
- Given your experiences of power, privilege and oppression, what types of countertransference might you have when working with Nikki?
- How might you better incorporate issues of gender and privilege in your counseling work with Nikki?