What is EMPWR?

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, adolescents, and adults.

What services are available?

The EMPWR Program offers psychotherapeutic services based on the most up-to-date research and literature to ensure the most effective clinical interventions are being delivered to clients.
Therapeutic interventions offered are variations of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and include:

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and medication management services are also available for EMPWR patients.

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Is there a support group at EMPWR?

EMPWR offers two innovative groups that focus on increasing resilience through social support, communication, and other skills. These are not process groups. The Teen Resilience Group is designed for teens 12 to 17 who identify as LGBTQ. The Parent/Caregiver Resilience Groupdesigned to improve parental support of adolescents who are LGBTQ or exploring gender and/or sexual identities.

Where is the clinic located?

EMPWR is located in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

I can't get to UCLA. Do I need to physically come in for services?

No. We offer our full array of services through telehealth (HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform). Our clinicians are fully trained in providing psychotherapy and psychiatric management through telehealth.

EMPWR clinicians are licensed in the State of California.

Does EMPWR provide referrals?

Yes, the EMPWR team is dedicated to connecting folx with the resources they need. We do our bext to provide relevant referrals as needed to resources at UCLA Health and in the surrounding community. Please also visit our Resources pages.

Referrals are not required to receive services through the EMPWR Program (unless required by insurance).

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Do you accept insurance?

Yes, most insurance is accepted for clinical services through EMPWR. Our policies are consistent with UCLA Health and can be found here.

Some scholarships are available for participation in our LGBTQ Teen Resilience Group. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

How do I refer a patient to the EMPWR Program?

Referrals are not required to participate in the EMPWR Program (unless required by insurance). Parents/caregivers can contact the program directly to inquire about services. 

What if I'm a minor looking for mental health services?

We make every effort to maintain privacy and confidentiality at all times. Typically speaking, minors need guardian consent to pursue care with us, however the content of the care is protected. Minors also often depend on a family member's insurance for billing. 

Do you prescribe hormone treatment and additional affirming medical interventions?

No, not directly. We work very closely with the UCLA Gender Health Program (GHP). Please contact GHP directly for medical services. 

Is parking available?

Yes, parking is available across the street from the Semel Institute at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. For information on University parking, please visit our directions and parking page.

Parking can also be found in Westwood at a number of paid and city lots as well as at street meters.

I am a student interested in doing research with EMPWR. Who should I contact?

We currently can only take on UCLA Health and UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine staff, students, and trainees. We unfortunately do not host outside rotators or researchers. You can reach our team by emailing [email protected].

Can you provide training for my organization or school?

We are able to provide consultation to community organizations, parent groups, and professionals. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information. Please also visit our Resources page for additional educational materials.

How can I apply for a clinical rotation with EMPWR?

A training rotation is currently available for child psychiatry fellows, psychology interns and post-doctoral psychology fellows. Additional opportunities are available for MSW students, medical students, and medicine/pediatrics residents. For more information, visit our Training Opportunities page. You can reach our team by emailing [email protected].

Does EMPWR have a postdoctoral fellowship?

Yes, EMPWR has a two-year psychology postdoctoral fellowship. For details, please see UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health Training Opportunities.

Can I donate to EMPWR?

Absolutely. Donations are much appreciated and enable us to provide trainings and clinical care to LGBTQ Californians in need. For details about giving, please see our Support page.


Contact Us

310-825-7573 | [email protected]