Facilitating students to develop effective clinical partnerships in voice therapy for trans and non-binary individuals

Sean Pert, Ellissia Porter

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) programme at The University of Manchester has a co-located, in-person evening clinic for the Voice and Communication Therapy (VCT) team as part of the Indigo Gender Service for Greater Manchester. The VCT team offer both in-person and online options for service users.

The SLT programme staff have developed a flexible clinical space (The SLT hub) suitable for therapy groups, alongside specialist computerised voice assessment facilities. The hub also allows other clinical groups to be seen, such as adults who have experienced a stroke leading to aphasia, and children with Developmental Speech sound Disorder. Students are familiar with the clinical space as it is also utilised for simulated learning.

Practicing conversation in groups encourages generalisation of voice skills, avoids ‘performative’ short-term changes, and encourages peer feedback and support. However, some trans and non-binary individuals are reluctant to participate in group therapy, especially if they have additional needs such as social anxiety, learning difficulties or are neurodivergent with different interaction styles.

Students on the SLT programme are offered both clinical placement and volunteering opportunities with the VCT team. Rather than focusing exclusively on clinic skills development, these clinical opportunities focus on the service user-clinician relationship and empowering service users in their own care. Vital aspects include encouraging service users to attempt exercises and strategies when they feel they may fail, facilitating supportive and realistic peer feedback, and developing supportive but professional relationships with service users. Feedback from both service users and students has been highly positive.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023
EventService Learning Conference: Perspectives, Partnerships and Practice - MANDEC, 3rd Floor, University Dental Hospital, Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester, M15 6FH, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Nov 202315 Nov 2023


ConferenceService Learning Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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