Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Dr. Eva Feindler, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Rae Egbert, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Marty Cooper, Ph.D.


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals search for counseling services at higher rates compared to their heterosexual peers. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ people also report negative therapeutic experiences that are evident in higher dissatisfaction rates with counseling services. Perceived heterosexist bias, homophobia, and therapists’ general lack of understanding and/or adequate training of gender and sexual diversity are some of the reasons why LGBTQ+ individuals may be wary of seeking medical or mental health services or why they forgo accessing services altogether (Dillon et al., 2004). Even though there is an emerging body of research stating a clear need to provide tailored, culturally appropriate, and LGBTQ+ affirmative psychological interventions to LGBTQ+ individuals, few studies have investigated the impact of therapist training in LGBTQ+-affirmative psychotherapy (Pepping et al., 2018). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Pride Healing Center (PHC) training program (a trauma-informed specialty clinic for the LGBTQ+ community at Long Island University-Post). This study used a comparison group design to explore if therapists who have undergone more hours of training in LGBTQ+- affirmative psychotherapy and had more clinical hours with LGBTQ+ clients report higher self-efficacy and changes in self-reported counselor competency and self-efficacy pre- and post-training. The results revealed significant increases in self-reported skills and knowledge between pre-test and post-test as a result of the cultural competency training that includes information about minority stress, unique barriers, and mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ population. The finding did not reveal any significant changes in counselor’s perceived competency when assessing their clinical hours.