Françoise Susset, Psy. D.
Psychologist | Director of ITH
Françoise Susset (she/her) co-founded the Institute for Trans Health, which she has directed since 2011. She is a trauma-informed clinical psychologist and couple and family therapist with more than 30 years of experience working with LGBTQ+ individuals, couples and families. She is a member of the clinical team at the Meraki Health Center, located in Montreal. Françoise is particularly interested in the assessment and clinical follow-up of trans and gender diverse adults and adolescents, during and beyond transition. She also works with people who question their transition journey or their trans or nonbinary gender identity. Françoise works closely with families supporting gender creative children in order to help families and schools question concepts associated with sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Françoise is part of the training and mentoring team of the GEI (Global Education Initiative) program of WPATH, of which she has been a member since 2005. She is the former president of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH).
Psychologist and Advocate
Françoise’ main areas of interest are working with survivors of abuse and complex childhood trauma as well as with victims of discrimination, especially individuals from LGBTQ+ communities. She specializes in the treatment of trauma and dissociative disorders.
From the beginning of her practice, she observed that belonging to a stigmatized group added significant challenges to the physical and mental health of an individual, a phenomenon known as “minority stress”. By working for a health and social services agency specialized in working with the most marginalized families, she learned to measure the impact of the destructive systemic pressures that act on certain members of society and to recognize and mobilize the strengths and resiliencies of individuals and families.
In Minnesota, where she worked for 15 years, she was part of the initial clinical team at Pride Institute, the world’s first residential treatment center for LGBTQ+ individuals struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
Trainer & educator
For more than 20 years, Françoise, in collaboration with many professional and community partners, has been offering training and consulting services in Canada and Europe on topics affecting the lives of trans, nonbinary and LGBQ+ individuals, couples and families.
For several years, she participated in the general mental health training of the Université de Montréal family medicine residents.
For more than 12 years, she was one of the trainers for a program of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) focused on LGBTQ+ lives. This program aims to raise awareness of the needs of these populations in the health and social services, and education sectors.
She works closely with several community organizations and health institutions involved in improving access to trans-affirming care for trans, nonbinary and gender diverse people.
Françoise teaches at McGill University in the master’s program in couple and family therapy.
Professional Associations & Orders
Françoise is a member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec (OPQ) and the Order of Social Workers and Couple and Family Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ) as a couple and family therapist.
She has been a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) since 2005 and chaired the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) from 2010 to 2013. CPATH brings together professionals from diverse disciplines around the common goal of improving the health and well-being of transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse individuals.
Involvement with LGBTQ+ communities
Through her experience, Françoise remains convinced that professionals who work with stigmatized and marginalized populations must be ready to leave the confines of their office and become directly involved in systems change. For this reason, Françoise is a member of the Trans Committee of the Conseil Québécois LGBTQ+
Françoise works closely with front-line organizations and community workers dedicated to defending LGBTQ+ rights. Responsive to their needs, she offers workshops and training courses at conferences organized by the trans and LGBQ+ communities, such as Trans Pride and Rainbow Health Ontario.
January 25, 2019 — Expert witness in the lawsuit filed by the Center for Gender Advocacy against the Government of Quebec, challenging articles of law found to be discriminatory against trans and nonbinary people.
June 7, 2016 — Testified as part of a parliamentary committee on Bill 103, legislation to strengthen the fight against transphobia and improve especially the situation of transgender minors.
March 23, 2016 — Consulted with the Montreal Francophone School Board (CSDM) to develop guidelines for integrating trans and gender creative children and youth in schools.
March 2015 — Submitted a Brief to government regarding a Bill to modify civil status documents to protect the privacy of children of trans parents and that of their parent.
May 13, 2015 — Testified as part of a second parliamentary committee hearings on Bill 35, proposed legislation to remove medical requirements and simplify access to gender marker change for transgender people.
November 26, 2013 — Testified as part of a parliamentary committee hearings on Bill 35, proposed legislation to remove medical requirements and simplify access to gender marker change for transgender people.
May 23, 2013 — Submitted a Brief to government regarding Bill 35, proposed legislation to remove medical requirements and simplify access to gender marker change for transgender people.
February 6, 2002 — Testified in committee hearings regarding Bill 84, a proposal to amend the rules governing filiation for same sex couples in the Quebec Civil Code.
February 2002 — Submitted a Brief regarding Bill 84, a proposal to amend the rules governing filiation for same sex couples in the Quebec Civil Code.
January 30, 2001 — Produced an expert report in a case of a co-mother lesbian adoption.
- Pullen Sansfaçon, A., Gelly, M., Gravel, R., Medico, D., Baril, A., Susset, F. et Paradis, A. (2023). A nuanced look into youth journeys of gender transition and detransition. Infant and Child Development. 32(2),e2402.
- Susset, F. & Rabiau, M. (2021). L’accompagnement thérapeutique des adolescents en transition (Therapeutic support for adolescents in transition). Book co-edited by Medico, D. and Pullen-Sansfaçon, A. In Jeunes trans et non binaires, de l’accompagnement à l’affirmation. Les éditions du remue-ménage, Montréal, Qc.
- Susset, F. & Rabiau, M. (2021). Le soutien thérapeutique aux enfants créatifs dans leur genre, trans et non binaires (Therapeutic support for gender creative, trans and nonbinary children). Book co-edited by Medico, D. and Pullen-Sansfaçon, A. In Jeunes trans et non binaires, de l’accompagnement à l’affirmation. Les éditions du remue-ménage, Montréal, Qc.
- Susset, F. (2014). Vulnérabilité et stigmatisation des enfants non normatifs dans l’expression de leur genre (Vulnerability and stigmatization of gender expansive children). Revue québécoise de psychologie. 35(3): 113-136.
- Susset, F. (2014). Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Experience of Parents of Gender Nonconforming Boys. Dans Meyer, E. & Pullen-Sansfaçon, A. (eds.) Supporting transgender and gender creative youth: Schools, families, and communities in action. Peter Lang: New York.
- Susset, F., Boulanger, M. (1995). Les enfants de parents homosexuels (Children of gay and lesbian parents). Revue Prisme. 5(2-3): 314-319.
Awards and recognition
2017– Certificate of Excellence “in recognition of outstanding services rendered to the trans community” presented by Mrs. Marie-Marcelle Godbout of the Association d’aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ).
2016– Recipient of the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec awarded by MNA Manon Massé to highlight Françoise Susset’s contribution to the advancement of the rights of trans people in Quebec.
2014– Honorary co-president of the Montreal Pride festival.
2012– Nominated by the Conseil Québécois LGBTQ+ for a award in the category “personality par excellence” which is given “to a person, known or not to the general public, who has contributed by their actions to the recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities”.
2010– Honorary plaque awarded by the Association d’aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ) for Françoise’ service and support to the trans community.