Psychologist & Advocate
Françoise Susset is a clinical psychologist and couple and family therapist. Her principal areas of interest are working with trauma survivors and sexual minority issues. She is co-founder of The Institute for Sexual Minority Health.
Françoise works from a minority stress model (Meyer, 2003) acknowledging the impact of discrimination on people’s mental health and development. Early on in her practice, Françoise observed that living with a stigmatized minority status added health and mental health challenges to an individual’s life. Working for a Family and Children’s Service agency in Minnesota with individuals and families struggling with poverty taught her to question the destructive systemic forces that act upon certain members of society and to value their strengths and resiliencies.
Currently she works mainly with same-sex and trans couples and families and with trans adults and teens. She also focuses more specifically on the question of gender variant behavior in prepubescent children, helping families and schools challenge notions regarding sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. She works closely with several community organizations working to improve access and quality care for individuals belonging to sexual minority groups in Quebec.
During her many years in Minnesota, she was a member of the original clinical team of Pride Institute, the first drug and alcohol treatment center in the world serving the lgbt community.
Trainer & Educator
Françoise offers training and consultation across Canada on matters affecting the lives of trans and LGB individuals, couples and families. For the past 15 years she has been a trainer and educator for a Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Service program focusing on LGBTQ+ health. In addition Françoise participated in the general mental health training and clinical supervision of residents in Family Medicine from the Université de Montréal Medical School.
She currently teaches in the McGill University M.A. program in Couple and Family therapy.
Professional Organizations & Boards
Françoise is a member of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ- The Quebec licensing board for psychologists) and a member of the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ- The Quebec licensing board for couple and family therapists)
She is a member of the World professional association for transgender health (WPATH) and past president of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) where she still serves on the Board. CPATH brings together professionals from many disciplines around a common goal of improving the health and well-being of trans and gender nonconforming individuals
Françoise is a member of the Association des psychologues du Québec (APQ), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT).
Françoise believes psychologists who work with oppressed and marginalized populations must be willing to leave the confines of their offices to hear the needs and offer support to the populations they serve. For this reason Françoise serves on the Trans Committee of the Conseil Québécois LGBT. Whenever possible, she shares her expertise and learns from community support and advocacy groups as well as front-line workers. To this end she consults with LGB and trans organization and presents at LGB and trans community-organized conferences such as Fierté Trans and Rainbow Health Ontario.
Working with LGB and trans advocacy groups, Françoise has contributed briefs and testified at Quebec parliamentary commissions for causes such as same sex marriage and parental rights for same-sex families. She has also written letters of support and testified for proposed legal changes in name and sex designation for trans* people.
Françoise recently published an article entitled: “Vulnérabilité et stigmatisation des enfants non normatifs dans l’expression de leur genre” (“Vulnerability and Stigmatization of Gender Non-Conforming Children”) in the Revue québécoise de psychologie and contributed a chapter entitled: “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Experience of Parents of Gender-Nonconforming Boys” in Meyer and Pullen-Sansfaçon’s book: Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth.
Awards & Appreciation
2016– Françoise was the recipient of the 2016 medal of the Quebec National Assembly presented by the MNA, Manon Massé in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of transgender rights in Quebec.
2010– Françoise received an honorary plaque awarded by the Quebec Trans Association (ATQ) for her service and support to the trans community.
2012– Françoise was nominated by the Conseil québécois LGBT for an award in the category “personality par excellence” which is awarded “to a person, known or unknown to the general public, who has contributed to the lives of lesbians, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender people.”