Professional Certificate in Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE in Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity

5-day (30 hour), part-time, professional programme

According to the Trans Mental Health Study 2012, 78 per cent of respondents who took part in the Irish survey [of transgender people] admitted having experienced suicide ideation or thoughts at least one time in their lives, some reported having attempted suicide more than ten times over their lifetime. Over half of the respondents (55 per cent) said they had been in crisis at some point, needing to seek help or support urgently (McNeil et al, 2012).

This is just one example of the many shocking revelations experienced by transgender people living in Ireland in what was the largest ever sociological study of transgender people undertaken in Ireland.

Besides the very public profile of the successful Marriage Equality Referendum (2015), and the Gender Recognition Act (2015), very little has changed for people in need of care and support for their gender or diverse sexual journey, or for gender dysphoria, in the intervening six years. One of the primary issues is the lack of practical or useful information for professionals, carers and support personnel in the medical, social and educational fields of care. This course aims to contribute to lessening the deficit of this much needed knowledge.


Aims and Objectives

The aim of this programme is to provide participants with the ability to:

  • To introduce participants to Gender and Sexual Diversity, in particular Gender-related concepts, linguistics and processes.
  • To examine Gender Journeying from a historical, societal, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic perspective based on current, relevant scientific and socio-political research positions.
  • To provide relevant and current information on Gender and Sexual Diversity with the emphasis on transgender and gender non-binary issues, on Gender Dysphoria and the examination of the Diagnostic Model of Gender Transition extant in Ireland, and alternative methods of support in other jurisdictions.


Admission/Minimum Entry Requirements

This programme is aimed at participants who have already completed a relevant professional academic qualification in a helping/caring area.

To secure a place on this programme please submit an application form accompanied by a letter of introduction (minimum 250 words), clearly stating your desire to participate in this programme. An interview will form part of the selection process (this may be conducted by telephone/Skype).


Teaching & Learning Strategies

Learning is supported through research, attending lectures, group and individual participation, individual assignment, and group project work.

Approaching this specialised and arguably controversial subject with an open heart and mind will help learners to better understand and enjoy the learning experience. Empathy and significant experience of the tutor should prove a valuable source of learning for participants.

Learners are encouraged to engage in research and recommended reading from reliable sources to enhance their learning experience on this module.



Indicative Syllabus

  • Introduction and outline of Gender & Sexual Diversity module focusing on key aspects of Gender Journeying and transitioning.
  • Language and Linguistics of Gender and Sexual Diversity, in particular, that of Transgender, Cisgender, Intersex and Non-binary models
  • Examining the multiplicities and processes of Gender Dysphoria in particular, the Diagnostic Model of  support for transgender people as extant in Ireland including the role of general practitioner, clinical psychology, psychiatry, counselling, endocrinology, hormone treatment, surgery and after-care.
  • In Transition – Examining key aspects of Gender Journeying from a societal, psychological, and psychotherapeutic posit. including the concept of conversion therapy
  • Ireland and UK – Legalities and Care Services comparison for people in Transition and examination of current international best practice medical research and support for people in Transition.
  • International Socio-Political examples for people of Gender and Sexual Diversity.
  • Research Studies in Gender Journeying from Gender Folk and familial perspective.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme the learner should be able to:

  • discuss with competence the concept of gender and sexual diversity, and to demonstrate awareness of the key national and international socio-political issues currently impacting transgender people.
  • show a clear awareness and express an informed view of conversion therapy and of gender dysphoria
  • demonstrate an empathic, humanistic and informed awareness of gender journeying
  • to show fluency and sensitivity of the linguistics and language involved in gender & sexual diversity
  • show a clear understanding of the multiplicity and complexities of gender and sexual diversity with particular awareness of gender transitioning.
  • demonstrate a competent awareness of procedures involved and the ability to express an informed view of the Medical Diagnostic Model of support extant in Ireland.


Assessment for this course will be through:

  • Completion of a 1,800 word written assignment
  • Evidence of having completed a Reflective Learning Log or Journal, accompanied with a 1,000 word summary of this experience.
  • In-Class Group Presentation or Debate on a key aspect of Gender & Sexual Diversity. Final submission to be accompanied with a 500 word personal reflection of the learning experience encountered while doing this group activity.



Former journalist and broadcaster, Jim Hutton, is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist, holding a BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a Diploma in Counselling (NUI). He received his first training in counselling at Stanhope Alcohol Treatment Centre, Dublin, in 1978.

Jim specialises in addiction counselling, couples counselling and gender and sexual diversity (LGBTI+) psychotherapy. He is the founder of Gender Journey Psychotherapy, a low-cost group psychotherapy service for transgender people, operating from Insight Matters in Dublin city centre.

Jim is the outgoing chairperson of IACP’s GSDIG committee (Gender & Sexual Diversity Interest Group). He also works with CDETB Youthreach second-chance education centres, in Dublin, and with The Irish Defence Forces ESS initiative nationwide.


ICPPD reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the matters contained in this publication. The College reserves the right to amend the list of modules being offered for any programme.

  • Venues:
    Sheraton Athlone Hotel
    Gleeson Street
    Co. Westmeath
  • Application:
    To be considered for a place on this programme, applicants are requested to please submit an Application Form, accompanied by a Letter of Introduction (minimum 250 words), clearly stating their desire to participate in the programme.
  • Commencement Dates:
    Delivery Dates:
    Saturday, 19th January 2019
    Saturday, 9th February 2019
    Saturday, 9th March 2019
    Saturday, 23rd March 2019
    Saturday, 13th April 2019
  • Duration:
    30 hour part-time course, delivered over 5 days (10.00 am – 5.00 pm)
  • Application Fee:
    Fee: €650, Payment plan options are available – please contact ICPPD for more information. Applications must be accompanied by a deposit of €75, which is credited against course fees.
  • Application Form:
  • Information Leaflet:
  • Payment:
    Payment Options

Related Courses -