Felix Sheridan - MSc., BSc., MIAPC - RCSI 2020.pdf (1.5 MB)
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An Exploration of the Experiences of Parents of Gender Dysphoria Youth: An Action Research Study

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posted on 13.12.2021, 15:34 authored by Felix Sheridan
Background: Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify (American Psychiatric Association). Gender dysphoria identities can be incredibly complex for both the gender dysphoria person and those around them, including parents. The researcher works as a Psychotherapist in a youth centre in Urban Ireland. Noticing the increasing number of gender dysphoria youth presenting for support at the centre, whilst having no support facilities for parents locally, this study aimed to explore their experiences to ascertain their needsa nd devise mechanisms for support within the community.
Methods: This study was a collaborative under taking with parents and stakeholders, adopting an action research approach. Data was collected qualitatively using semi-structured interviews from three parents of the members in a trans non-binary youth support group, who identify with gender dysphoria. Data was analysed thematically using the software QDA Miner Lite, and a formative style of evaluation was applied.
Results: The data gathered identified Four prominent themes; feeling let down by the medical profession and support services, resilience and pride in the face of loss and mourning, feeling judged and alone in their journey while worrying about the future their child may face and parents seeking a place to belong and build a support network.
Conclusions: Collaboration with parents and stakeholders within the organisation allowed for a dynamic and thorough research process. The knowledge generated was critical in helping the researcher lay the foundations to move forward with next steps in implementing community-based supports.


First Supervisor

Dr Anne Dodd


A thesis submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Loss & Bereavement (Counselling), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2020

Published Citation

Sheridan F.,. An Exploration of the Experiences of Parents of Gender Dysphoria Youth: An Action Research Study. [MSc Thesis] Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2020

Degree Name

MSc Loss and Bereavement (Counselling)

Date of award



  • MSc Loss and Bereavement (Counselling)