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Archived book reviews
Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/ Transsexual Client:
A Comprehensive Clinical Guide
Richard K. Adler, Sandy Hirsch and Michelle Mordaunt
Plural Publishing Inc.
ISBN 1 59756012X
Review by Christella Antoni, December 2006
This book provides an extensive overview of the challenging range of issues related to the treatment of transgender/ transsexual individuals. The publication is aimed at readers who already possess clinical skills and experience in Voice rather than newcomers to the field. It relates primarily to the North American system of Health provision which limits its relevance to non-U.S.A clinicians, especially with regards to Health Insurance issues, references to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and aspects of intonation which relate to the American accent.
The authors have attempted to include chapters on all pertinent aspects of voice, speech, language and communication relative to working with the transgender/transsexual population. In addition, chapters on psychosocial issues and endocrinological aspects of treatment seek to provide a deeper understanding of the wider issues involved in transsexualism. Jennifer Oates highlights the current paucity of high level evidence on the effectiveness of voice therapy in her chapter on Evidence-Based Practice. However, experienced clinicians provide sound guidelines in the chapters on Assessment and Goals, Resonance, Articulation and Language. Some therapy techniques are also included, as well as an accomanying CD demonstrating examples of voices before and after treatment.
The cultural limitations of the book extend to the issue of phonosurgery which is carried out far less routinely in the USA. Subsequently, there is no mention of pitch raising surgery for the male to female transsexual and the role of the SLT pre and post surgery. Nevertheless, in a growing field where little clinical material exists, this is indeed a useful, necessary and welcome publication.
Christella Antoni is Consultant SLT (Voice) at Charing Cross Hospital and in independent practice.
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