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Gender-Responsive Treatment

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Gender-responsive treatment addresses the different experiences that people have with respect to gender and mental health. Culturally competent care responds to a teen or young adult’s gender identity and takes that cultural factor into consideration when looking at underlying causes and external stressors.

What Is Gender-Responsive Treatment?

The goal of a gender-responsive approach to teen treatment is to foster a therapeutic environment in which people of all genders feel safe and empowered. Therefore, they can develop coping skills while also building a more stable sense of personal identity. Moreover, gender-responsive treatment for teens helps minimize distraction and competition.

For example, boys are often more willing to be vulnerable and open in a gender-responsive environment. Additionally, teen girls often feel the freedom to spend less energy on their appearance, so they can focus on healing instead. Teens who are gender noncomforming may experience discrimination or lack of family support that impacts their mental health. A gender-specific environment helps all teens feel safe enough to be their authentic selves and make authentic connections.

Sources: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug AddictionGender Research in US National Library of Medicine (NIH)Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (NIAAA)