A Book review about “On The Couch” by Dr. Angello

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As we know there are not many books that serve as a guide or even as an understanding of what it is to have a transgender child or even how to deal with those difficult decisions, doubts and unknown questions to parents of trans and gender nonconforming kids. On The Couch is an excellent book that was written by Dr. Angello. This book provides a great perspective from a parent to other parents on how to more than anything be understanding of a trans son or daughter and be able to practice the unconditional love that as parents we are supposed to give to our kids.

In this book Dr Angello helps parents navigate issues related to being a parent of a trans and gender nonconforming kids; it also provides techniques used that other therapist would be able to use in their practice. Understanding a young person or a child who has gender nonconformity with one self is no easy task to take on, but in this book Dr Angello also shares stories of some of her young patients and how she has been able to help young people navigate the different difficulties as a young person as it relates to gender issues, she also helps young people to deal with some of those difficult times and provides guidance to them to have a more productive life. This book definitely provides a great perspective from someone who is open as a therapist to share her experience to the world, the importance of focusing on this field and to work with these populations.

I wish there were more therapists that would have open hearts and minds to understand the importance of this magnificent work and to work with this magnificent population. I also wish that there was much more professionals who would take interest in working with young people who may have gender nonconformity. We are very fortunate to we have  Dr Angello in Philadelphia, but there are not many professionals who do this kind of work. It is also very unfortunate that only few people may have access to the services like what Dr Angello provides to people who have the opportunity to afford and pay for consultations and therapy; I wish there was resources for all people who may be dealing with this issue and that everyone would get the help that they need, whether it is to answer a question in a sensitive manner or even get therapy if that is something that those families or the young person may need. The reality is that not many people have access to resources and there are many families of color who are poor and struggle to put food on their table, they are not really thinking on spending money to pay someone to get therapy, in their minds is something unachievable even though in their hearts is something that they wish they could do. That is one of the reasons there are many families of color who are ignorant about gender nonconformity and their kids end up in many of the systems that we have that continue to oppress us, that is why we have many trans kids on the streets trying to get the love and understanding that they don’t get at their homes because they do not have the resources to even try to access a compassionate doctor as Dr Angello.

Having this book that Dr. Angelo has written is great because it gives hope to many families and people. My hope is that other therapist that work in the foster care system, social workers, case managers and other social service providers pick up this book and get a sense of what it is to work with trans and gender nonconforming young people; my hope is that if they get this book they would practice some of the strategies that Dr Angello graciously shared with us.

Bamby Salcedo

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About the author

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby is a nationally recognized transgender Latina woman activist, academic, public speaker, community organizer and artist. Bamby has created and found several organizations and projects such as Angels of Change, the first trans youth calendar aimed at providing trans youth with a positive image and the TransLatin@ Coalition. Bamby has participated in numerous state and national conferences and colleges as a presenter and motivational speaker. Bamby has been recognized locally and nationally for her great work in the community.

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