Brooks Bull, Ph.D., is a 2021 graduate of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Lucy Byno, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Justine D'Arrigo, PhD, Committee Member
  • Janet Robertson, PhD, Committee Member


non-binary, transgender, youth, mental health, family therapy, narrative

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Parents of non-binary children undergo profound changes as they learn to first understand and then support their child. In order to provide family therapists with a foundation from which to work with these families, a thorough review of the literature is provided as well as a narrative research study. Chapter one provides an introduction to the topic of non-binary gender and transgender identities, defines the terms non-binary, transgender, and transsexual, and clarifies the conceptual frameworks at use in the dissertation: social constructionism and transfeminism. Chapter two is a review of peer-reviewed literature on therapy with children and adolescents who identify as transgender or non-binary. Special attention is paid to what knowledge is produced and challenged within each methodological category, and how non-binary youth and their families are described or excluded from the discussion overall. Chapter three is a narrative research study that answers the question: what are the stories parents of non-binary children tell about how they came to understand and affirm their child? Stories of parents confronting core beliefs, stepping into leadership, and feeling like they do not fit in or belong in ostensibly supportive spaces are presented. Relevance to narrative therapy is highlighted as well as the need for more research on family processes that enact support for transgender and non-binary children.


Brooks Bull

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-6967-8157