The EMPWR (“empower”) Program is a joint initiative of the UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry and the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health designed to promote well-being and resilience in LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) children, teenagers, and young adults.
EMPWR provides a safe, affirming environment for LGBTQ youth with mental health concerns related to stressful and/ or traumatic experiences.
The EMPWR Program offers an innovative LGBTQ Teen Resilience Group designed for teens 12 to 17 years old who identify as LGBTQ. Informed by cognitive behavioral therapy, the group teaches practical skills to improve day-to-day functioning. Sessions are led by professional mental health providers and are designed to be educational, interactive and social.
The Parent/Caregiver Resilience Group is designed to improve parental support of adolescents who are LGBTQ or exploring gender and/or sexual identities. Over 8 sessions, parents learn about typical parental reactions, typical gender and sexual identity exploration and development, tangible skills for how to support adolescents (even if parents do not understand or agree), effective communication skills around issues of sexuality and gender, and ways to advocate for their children.