All Kinds of News for March 07, 2018
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, participated at this year’s Gender Education DeMystification Symposium (GEMS) Conference. GEMS, which took place from February 21-23 2018 in Salt Lake City, is specifically designed to provide an educational and clinical perspective to topics around gender identity. At the event, leading experts provide insight into the challenges faced by families and their transgender children, young adults and adolescents. The conference, attended by educational and therapeutic consultants, clinicians and program staff, provides attendees the chance to gain a sense of how best to assist transgender children, young adults and adolescents.
“This year’s GEMS conference was extremely powerful and extremely informative,” comments Ashley Brown, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, Primary Therapist at Trails Carolina. “At the conference, they did a great job in discussing the need to not only support transgender teens, but also their family members. Many parents feel as if they’ve lost the child they have always known after their child comes out as transgender. It’s important for programs to help them restructure the goals and dreams they once had for their teen into something positive and future-facing.”
The 2018 GEMS conference hosted expert speakers such as Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW who is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gender Center, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, a developmental and clinical psychologist in the Bay Area, Megan Smith Sallans, MS, LIMHP, LIPC, a psychotherapist in private practice, and her husband Ryan Sallans, a world renowned transgender public speaker and author.
“I really enjoyed hearing Ryan Sallans speak as well as his wife Megan,” comments Brown. “Ryan Sallans speaks from his personal experiences, sharing his life story. It’s very powerful to hear and he has such a wealth of knowledge about gender identity issues. It was very interesting to hear from his wife, Megan, who is a clinical psychologist working with families, teens, and couples in the LGBTQ+. As the spouse of a transgender individual and someone who works with families on a daily basis experiencing a variety of challenges associated with LGBTQ+ issues, Megan has such a unique perspective on the support of transgender individuals. It was such an enlightening experience and I will definitely be using what I learned in my work with students and families at Trails Carolina.”
To learn about the ways in which Trails Carolina supports transgender and gender non-conforming students, visit the blog on the subject.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy.