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Art Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Using Cinema to Train Mental Health Care Trainees in Transgender Issues

By Gurvinder Kalra, 2013

Cinema is mainly produced for entertainment of the masses. With newer technology making film clips more available, teachers are increasingly turning their attention to films in training health care students. Transgenderism is one such area in sexuality training that can be taught using films. Transgender individuals face various phase-of-life issues and other life crises that include coming out, family pressures, discrimination, sexual abuse, and end of life. Various curricula in mental health or sexuality training may lack training about transgender issues that are often sidelined, more focus being given to sexual dysfunctions and lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues. As mental health care professionals-in-the-making, trainees need to understand issues surrounding transgenderism in a manner to which they can easily relate. This is important especially considering the fact that they may deal with such clients in their practice. Films serve this purpose by portraying these issues in an understandable way and at the same time they also protect the confidentiality of the characters involved. This paper discusses how film clips can be used in training mental health care professionals about phase-of-life and other life-crises issues in transgender individuals.

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