Dr Jos Twist
Tell us about your role?
I have worked at GIDS since October 2015. I initially came here as a trainee and became a qualified member of the team in October 2016. The main part of my job as a psychologist is to meet with families and young people who attend the service. In addition to this I liaise with other professionals involved with families, do some teaching/training and also some research.
What are your special interests within the work you do?
I have a particular interest in the topic of gender diversity, e.g. non binary/genderfluid/genderqueer/agender identities. Relatedly, I am also interested in sexual and relationship diversity- moving away from models of sexuality that are purely based on orientation (e.g. heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual) and thinking about sexuality more broadly.
What interested you about working in GIDS?
I find the topic of gender fascinating and it is something we all have a relationship regardless of how we identify. I feel that I can learn a lot about this topic from the young people who attend the service.
What advice would you have to someone coming to their first appointment with you?
We are aware that a first appointment can often be quite anxiety provoking for young people and families and we want to try and reduce these feelings if we can. So let us know if there are things we can do to make the sessions feel easier. I think it can sometimes feel that there is a lot to cover in the time that we have, so it can sometimes be useful to come with a list of questions or topics you want to cover and also have an idea about which are the most important.
GIDS is a national service so young people and families come from all over England and Wales, some of whom are coming to London for their first time. London is an amazing place with so much to choose from and there are lots of free exhibitions and activities to do while you are here for the day. One place in London I really like is Camden. If you are into any aspect of ‘alternative’ culture I would really recommend exploring Camden market, taking a walk along the high street and visiting some of the interesting stores.
Which person do you most admire?
One person I really admire is Meg-John Barker. They are a non-binary writer, activist, researcher and therapist. I really like the way they write about some very complicated topics and they write about these in a really accessible way, including a comic book about Queer Theory.
What is your favourite book?
I tend to read a lot more non-fiction books rather than story books. Though I did recently read a book called ‘Normal’ which is about trans young people. It was so good I read it in three days and would definitely recommend it! I also love Harry Potter and have all of the talking books. I went to the Warner Brother Studios Tour recently, though Butter Beer is a lot sweeter than I imagined it would be!
What is your favourite music genre?
There isn’t one genre of music that I like more than others. When I was a teenager indie music was my passion, with The Stereophonics being particular favourites. Now I tend to listen to a range of music, at the moment I am enjoying Frank Turner, I also listen to some breakbeat, some funk, and also musicals.