Research & Education

The EMPWR Program offers unique opportunities for medical and mental health trainees and students to participate in research and specialized training. Clinicians from EMPWR also collaborate with numerous local and national academic and advocacy groups.

Training Opportunities

The EMPWR Program offers training in affirming mental health care for LGBTQ youth and young adults to prepare the next generation of mental health providers.

EMPWR provides subspecialty clinical training to advanced psychology and psychiatry trainees under the direct supervision of attending faculty with research and clinical expertise in working with LGBTQ populations. The program thus offers trainees a unique opportunity to learn about trauma and stress affecting sexual and gender minority youth. The training objectives of this program also underscore and advance UCLA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Highlights of clinical rotations include:

  • Opportunity to evaluate and treat LGBTQ youth with anxiety, depression, and stress and trauma related conditions
  • Training in individual and family focused interventions including Trauma Focused CBT and FOCUS
  • Didactics on salient topics such as health disparities, minority stress, and competent care for LGBTQ populations
  • Journal club focused on foundational knowledge of the existing literature on interventions for LGBTQ youth
  • Group facilitation training*

*Psychology and psychiatry trainees also co-facilitate the LGBTQ Teen Resilience Skills Group with an attending clinician and/or a post-doctoral psychology fellow. The Resilience Group provides specialized training in delivering sensitive and affirming clinical interventions to LGBTQ adolescents while also offering a chance to gain broad clinical skills in facilitating group therapy.

To find out more information about applying to EMPWR, please email us at: [email protected], or call us at 310-825-7573.


The EMPWR Program benefits from the support of top-notch faculty researchers at UCLA who specialize in community engagement, systems of care, delivery of care to underserved and underresourced populations, resilience and DBT skills, and psychosocial research methodology.

Current Research Projects Include:

  • Family-Focused Therapy for families of transgender & gender diverse youth (PI: Ramos, funded by the AACAP Physician Scientist Program in Substance Use from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, K12DA000357)
  • Education and support for resource parents of LGBTQ foster youth (PI: Ollen, funded by the UCLA Pritzker Center)
  • Analyses of the EMPWR Teen Resilience Group intervention for LGBTQ teens with depression, anxiety, and/or stressors
  • Analyses of the EMPWR Caregiver Resilience Group
  • Qualitative Improvement projects within this clinic and the broader UCLA Health system
  • Collaborative projects on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth
  • Affirming care practices on the inpatient unit

Want to participant in one of our studies? Please click on the project title for additional information.

Research Staff: Volunteer research opportunities are available to support UCLA Department of Psychiatry Trainees seeking to gain research skills and experience.

All research job postings are centralized through UCLA Health Careers.

Rainbow flag


As part of UCLA Health’s LGBTQ Health Initiative, the EMPWR Program prioritizes collaborative care with other UCLA clinicians and providers. The EMPWR team works closely with expert clinicians from the Gender Health Program, which delivers gender-affirming care across medical specialties.

The EMPWR Program also works closely with UCLA centers and community organizations to help disseminate evidenced-based practices and educational programming. LA County residents may access free online trainings through the DMH + UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence

If you interested in seeking consultation from the EMPWR Team, contact us at [email protected].