"Y'all Got Me F*d Up!": The Complex Worlds of TAY and Emerging LGBTQQIT-S Adults

TAY is a term that refers to Transitional Aged Youth, generally defined as the range between 18 and 24 years old. In giving an overview of working with TAY who struggle with symptoms of complex trauma and dissociation, the presentation will start with some background on why TAY should be considered as a distinct developmental group with unique needs and concerns.

TAY exist in a space of no longer being children but new at the demands of adulthood. Clinicians often consider them a difficult group to work with, in part, because they are navigating multiple life challenges which may intersect with race, economics, orientation and gender identity. In my experience, TAY can be an extremely rewarding age range to work with.

The most complicated TAY clients are often not interested in traditional sit-down therapy with the normal constraints  of a weekly 50 minute session. They demand that we become masters of engagement.

So, how do we reach them? Connecting with TAY requires being fiercely in touch with our own unique vulnerabilities while being comfortable with them. We have to be prepared to encounter what may be unfamiliar to us and admit that we don't have the answers all of the time.

In the second half, there will be specific attention placed on working with TAY LGBTQQIT-S. We will discuss the history and complexity of gender and sexual identities within TAY as well as how to address unique issues and concerns.

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in May 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • List three reasons why TAY who are dissociative are often misdiagnosed
  • List three factors that contribute towards LGBTQ TAY potentially being exposed to higher risks
  • State what parts of the brain are still growing during the TAY age range and how that contributes to them having unique developmental needs
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Catherine Keech, LMFT
Presenter Biography: Catherine "Katie" Keech has been working with individuals who struggle with dissociative disorders since 2004. She started working specifically with the TAY population in 2010 when she was fortunate to be at the helm of one of the very first social rehab clinics for TAY. She has continued to enjoy working with TAY in both agency settings and in private practice. She has spent time in various clinical worlds including residential, forensics, crisis management, and sexual exploitation / CSEC. Currently she manages a wrap around community based mental health program that is focused on working with TAY who have a serious mental illness diagnoses and reside in Alameda County in addition to her private practice. She has recently branched out into providing trainings to the community. In her free time she is part of an Oakland collective, Fivetoncrane.org. The projects from this group have been displayed across the U.S.. In addition, she is part of an international queer activist group that engages in fundraising for small non-profits and community support.

Available Credit

  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at cfas@isst-d.org to receive the appropriate discount code.