Dr Jos Twist
Tell us about your role.
I had my final year placement of my clinical psychology training here at GIDS. I really enjoyed working in the team and found the other clinicians to be friendly, supportive, passionate and dedicated to their work. I thus applied for a job as a newly qualified and am really excited to be part of the team.
As psychologists I believe that research is an important part of our jobs. For my thesis I interviewed cis people who were partnered with trans people.
What are your special interests within the work you do?
I have a particular interest in the topic of gender diversity in the broadest sense, 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).
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 do you do outside of your time at GIDS?
Recently, I have spent most of my time doing research for my thesis, which is about partners of trans people. I really enjoy doing research and I hope to continue to conduct research in the future.
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 retro, goth and ‘hippy’ clothing stores.
Which person do you most admire?
One person I really admire is Meg-John Barker. They are a non-binary writer, activist, artist, 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. They also wear really cool hats.
Do you have any pets? And do you have a favourite animal?
I don’t have any pets. I grew up with both cats and dogs in my family home although. I’m not particularly fond of cats, but they seem to like me quite a bit. I really like dogs and had a Yorkshire Terrier when I was younger. I’m slightly scared of the swans who live on the lake outside my house!
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, it was so cool, 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, Frank Turner is a particular favourite at the moment, I also enjoy some breakbeat, some funk, and also musicals. If you enjoy musicals, Wicked is a must see.
Do you have a favourite season?
I don’t have a favourite season but I don’t do very well in hot weather. I love the woods, love to cycle in the woods, and I do like Autumn when there are all the different coloured leaves. That said, I also enjoy Spring as it feels like the world is coming alive again after a dark cold winter.