Enhancing the Cultural Sensitivity of Psychosocial Interventions for Anxiety and Depression When Working with LGBTQ+ Clients

Saturday, April 7: 9:00 AM  - 10:00 AM 
Exhibit Level 
Room: Washington 2 
Gender and sexual minority clients, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning clients (LGBTQ+), represent a significant, diverse population. However, many clinicians have questions about the most effective ways to provide culturally sensitive therapy to address the needs of clients part of this ever changing population. This dynamic and timely roundtable discussion, which is appropriate for clinicians and researchers of all levels, will highlight clinical perspectives on how to enhance the cultural sensitivity of psychosocial interventions for anxiety and depressive disorders for gender and sexual minority clients. The panelists will discuss evidence-based and practice-based strategies for making treatment more relevant for work with individuals who hold these identities. This topic is particularly important because most empirically supported interventions were developed using relatively homogeneous samples.

The purpose of this clinical roundtable is two-fold in that panelists will discuss both general evidence-based and practice-based strategies as well as specific issues to attend to when working with anxiety and depression within LGBTQ+ populations.

Topics will include: knowing the language, culture, and experiences of your clients; common presentations of anxiety and depression among the LGBTQ+ population; information on some of the unique physical and mental health needs for individuals who identify as transgender and/or gender diverse; determining the extent to which a client's sexual orientation and/or gender identity is relevant to conceptualization and treatment; attending to intersecting identities; modifications to treatment to address the potential role of discrimination and/or microaggressions and more general strategies for addressing issues around power and privilege in therapy. Time will be set aside for audience members to ask questions.

Learning Objectives

1. Apply evidence-based and practice-based to psychosocial interventions for treatment of anxiety and depression within the LGBTQ+ population
2. Discuss the ways that anxiety and depression manifests similarly and uniquely within the LGBTQ+ population
3. Provide strategies for making treatment more relevant for work with LGBTQ+ populations 


Sarah Hayes-Skelton, PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston


Sebastian Barr, Ph.D., University of Louisville & Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School Dept of Psychiatry
Ethan Mereish, PhD, American University
Heidi Montoya, PhD, Private Practice
Lauren Wadsworth, MA, University of Massachusetts Boston

Audience Level





Diversity - Yes


60 minutes



Treatment Approach