Liz Ollen, PhD, MA
Dr. Ollen is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She has been involved in the program development for the UCLA EMPWR Program since it was established in 2017. Dr. Ollen has extensive experience working with LGBTQ youth and their families, including youth exploring/questioning gender identity and/or sexual orientation. She practices from the Gender Affirmative Model and provides guidance and support to families around healthy identity development. She is also involved in research and development of therapeutic interventions to foster resiliency among LGBTQ adolescents and their families.
Dr. Ollen has a broad range of generalist experience using evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with disruptive, mood, and anxiety disorders in community mental health, hospital-based outpatient, and inpatient settings. She is extensively trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and exposure-based therapies, and utilizes third wave CBT interventions including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Ollen's primary specialization is in treating the psychological sequelae of both acute and complex developmental trauma, with an expertise in LGBTQ youth. She is trained in multiple trauma interventions, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Integrated Treatment for Complex Trauma in Adolescents (ITCT-A). She also has a background in couple and family therapies (Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, and Families Over Coming Under Stress). Additionally, Dr. Ollen also specializes in working with youth and their families formed through foster care, adoption, and IVF, including helping families navigate situations unique to these families, including birth family or donor sibling contact, and supporting youth in navigating healthy identity development.
Dr. Ollen earned her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from Clark University. She also holds a second master's degree in Human Development from Harvard University. She completed her pre and postdoctoral training at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior through the Nathanson Family Resilience Center. Dr. Ollen is actively involved in professional leadership positions through the American Psychological Association (APA). She currently sits on the Executive Committee of Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) and also serves on the APA Task Force for revising the clinical guidelines for lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.
Areas of Focus
Nakamura, N., Dispenza, F., Abreu, R.L., Ollen, E.W., Pantalone, D.W., Canillas, G., Gormley, B., Vencill, J.A., (2022). The APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons: An Executive Summary of the 2021 Revision. Invited article for Special Issue: Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Ramos, N., Burgess, A., & Ollen, E.W. (2022). The Current Status of Legal Issues and Challenges Facing Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. Invited submission to the Journal of Adolescent Psychiatry.
Ollen, E. W., & Canillas, G. (2021). Relationship functioning among sexual minority people of color: Considerations of the 2021 APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 8(3), 382–383.
Zullo, L., Seager van Dyk, I., Ollen, E., Ramos, N., Asarnow, J., & Miranda, J. (2021). Treatment recommendations and barriers to care for suicidal LGBTQ youth: A quality improvement study. Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 6(3), 393-409.