Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-11-2018


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart

Committee Member

Matthew J. Bundick

Committee Member

David L. Delmonico


GNC Gender Nonconforming Queer Trans Gender Sex


This study sought to unearth the narratives of gender nonconforming (GNC) individuals’ experiences of mental health services. The term gender nonconforming refers to individuals who do not identify with a strictly male or female concept of gender identity. There is an insubstantial research that has been conducted into the provision of effective mental health services for gender nonconforming individuals. Most of the studies in the literature review used the term transgender to highlight gender minority experience of counseling.

This study used gender nonconforming to separate from this terminology confusion. Individuals who identify with the identity label of transgender can be gender nonconforming, but not always is this the case due to the varied individual meanings of these terminology. In order to uncover the narrative of the target population, the participants of the study were purposefully selected to include only those who hold a nonbinary definition of their gender identity.

This hermeneutic phenomenological study was informed by Queery theory and Hycner’s (1985) guidelines to phenomenological research. The study was conducted with a total of nine interviews who identified with the study’s definition of gender nonconforming. The results of the study identified themes that address the participants queer identity development, internal and external barriers for therapy, and factors that promoted positive and negative experiences of counseling. The limitations, implications of the study, suggestions for future research, and questions for future research are included.