The EMPWR (“empower”) Program is an initiative of the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health designed to promote well-being and resilience in LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) youth and adults. EMPWR provides a safe, open environment for LGBTQ individuals to address mental health concerns related to stressful and/or traumatic experiences. This program links patients and their families to an expert team of attending psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as supervised advanced trainees who deliver comprehensive mental health care. Specialized individual, family, and group interventions build on personal strengths, foster healthy identity formation, and mitigate the consequences of stressful and/or traumatic experiences. Most commercial insurance plans are accepted.
EMPWR offers time-limited individual psychotherapies to children, adolescents, and adults to address symptoms related to trauma and stress. Interventions are primarily evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT). Examples of common issues addressed in individual therapy include support around sexual orientation and/or gender identity development, recovery from trauma, bullying, and/or discrimination, exploration of social and/or medical transitions, and increasing emotion regulation (i.e., coping skills).
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 (CBT), the 8-session group teaches practical skills to cope with identity-related stress and improve day-to-day functioning. Sessions are led by professional mental health providers and are designed to be educational, interactive, and social.
The EMPWR Parent/Caregiver Resilience Group is designed to support parents of adolescents who are LGBTQ or exploring gender and/or sexual identities. Over 8 sessions, parents learn information about gender and sexual identity exploration and development, tangible skills for how to support adolescents (particularly if parents do not understand or agree), effective communication skills around issues of sexuality and gender, and ways to advocate for their children.
Integrated Medication Management
Integrated psychiatric evaluation and medication management services are offered in conjunction with evidence-based psychotherapies. Evaluations are typically conducted by advanced trainees under the supervision of board-certified psychiatrists who are clinical faculty.
Who We See
The EMPWR program specializes in mental health for LGBTQ individuals, including those questioning and/or seeking support around identity exploration. Our providers specialize in working with patients with diverse gender identities (including transgender and non-binary) and sexual orientations, particularly those with experiences of stress and trauma
Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (teen and parent groups 5:30-6:30pm)
Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm