Richard Brandon-Friedman

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Families in Transition: Development of a Therapeutic Group for Gender-Diverse Youth and Their Caregivers

Professor Richard Brandon-Friedman's academic research focuses on sexual and gender identity development among youth, youth sexual wellbeing, LGBTQ+ identity development, youth sexual behaviors, sexuality discourse within social work, and addressing sexuality within the child welfare system. Professor Brandon-Friedman has spent 15 years working with LGBTQ+ youth and their families in mentoring and clinical capacities. In 2015, he helped found the Riley Hospital Gender Health Program and has worked there clinically and as a researcher since that time.

He continually meets with community members, maintaining a list of needs they have identified. He also works with the community clinically, providing ongoing hands-on experience. When examining research opportunities, Professor Brandon-Friedman starts with the population that would be impacted, turning to the members of the population to see how their needs may fit within funding mechanisms. This grounds his research within community members’ experiences.

Families in Transition is a therapeutic support group designed to meet the needs of gender-diverse youth and their caregivers. Developed collaboratively with GenderNexus, GEKCO, PFLAG Fishers, and members of the gender-diverse community, the group will enhance the social and emotional well-being of participants through psychoeducation, skill development, familial relationship and communication building, and community connectedness.

Professor Brandon-Friedman's translation of community-engaged research into practices that promote health and well-being within the LGBTQ+ community is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.