Dr Sam Thompson
Tell us about your role..
I work mainly at the Tavistock Centre in London, although I also do some outreach work in Wales. As well as meeting with young people and their families at GIDS, I help out with running our groups for parents. Outside GIDS I’m interested in understanding the social and economic factors that influence mental health. Before that, I worked for several years in the policy world and I am an Honorary Research Fellow in public mental health at the University of Liverpool.
What is the best part of your job?
The best thing about working at GIDS is having the opportunity to meet so many amazing people from all walks of life. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I literally learn something new every day.
What are the most important aspects of your work?
We hold on to the fact that gender identity is complex. Sometimes it seems as if the world wants to close options down rather than open them up, so we try to create a safe, friendly space that allows young people and their families to really explore what gender means to them.
Would you have any advice to someone coming to their first appointment?
If I was to give advice to someone coming to their first appointment with me, I'd say be yourself, and be honest! The first appointment can seem daunting, and you might feel like you need to present yourself in a certain way. However, we don’t have any expectations about your gender journey. We’ll probably ask you lots of questions, but that’s because we’re really interested in what you think.
What is your favourite genre of music?
I’m a big fan of folk and traditional music.
Do you have a favourite season?
My favourite season is Autumn and the cold, crisp walks with leaves on the ground.