Masters Theses

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Dawn M. Szymanski

Committee Members

Kirsten A. Gonzalez, Joseph R. Miles


Experiences of psychotherapists with marginalized identities, particularly nonbinary therapists, have been largely unexamined. Using critical constructivist grounded theory, we explored the experiences of 13 nonbinary licensed psychotherapists through qualitative semistructured interviews. We found that nonbinary clinicians ground their professional praxis — the embodiment of professional theory, action, and practice — in identity across seven interconnected areas: disclosing identity, utilizing identity experiences, navigating dehumanization, using self as a clinical intervention, empowering oneself and others, advocating within the profession, and centering anti oppression ideologies. Findings add to the nascent examination of experiences of marginalized mental health professionals and note the value of identity integration into professional work. Recommendations for nonbinary psychotherapists as well as employers, training programs, and colleagues are discussed.

Available for download on Monday, December 15, 2025

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