Atlantic Magazine Story Features Work and Analysis by Professor Laura Edwards-Leeper and PsyD Students
The expertise of Pacific University School of Graduate Psychology associate professor Laura Edwards-Leeper and the work of a team clinical psychology students she oversees, are featured in the July/August cover story of The Atlantic magazine.
“When Children Say They’re Trans,” by Jesse Singal, illuminates the complex nature of gender identity issues and is based in part on discussions Singal had with Edwards-Leeper and her students earlier this year.
Through her work with patients and as a faculty member at Pacific, Edwards-Leeper advocates comprehensive "readiness" assessments for young people who are having gender identity issues in advance of any physical interventions, such as hormone therapy or gender transition procedures. Why? Because, as the story outlines, sometimes a person who believes they are transgender at one point in time does not feel that way later on.
As a licensed practitioner, Edwards-Leeper oversees a partnership between Pacific's School of Graduate Psychology and Legacy Health's Oregon Transgender Clinic to provide psychological assessments for its children and adolescent patients. A core faculty member of the Pacific clinical psychology program’s child track, Edwards-Leeper instructs, mentors and supervises Pacific students who have joined her as part of the clinic's Transgender Youth Assessment Team.
Edwards-Leeper is one of several healthcare practitioners Singal spoke with for his story. She has worked with children and parents facing gender identity issues for more than a decade, and during that time, has seen the medical community debate the best way to support those with issues.