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The Kids Are Alright: Affirming CBT with LGBTQ+ Youth and their Families

Presenter: Ilana Seager van Dyk, PhD, Massey University
Moderator: Leigh Spivey-Rita, PhD, Duke University

In 2022 alone, more than 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced into state legislatures in the United States. Everyday LGBTQ+ youth are facing challenges to their right to access affirming healthcare, use public restrooms, play school sports, and have their identities represented in school curricula. This kind of stress exposure has been linked to LGBTQ+ youth’s continued experiences of disproportionately high rates of mental health concerns relative to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. In this webinar, Dr. Ilana Seager van Dyk will introduce attendees to concrete strategies for affirming LGBTQ+ youth and their families during CBT in this difficult climate.

Learning objectives:

After this session, participants will be able to ….

  1. List 3 techniques for providing a safe therapeutic environment for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
  2. Adapt 3 CBT techniques to be sensitive to the unique needs and challenges experienced by this population.
  3. Describe 2-3 therapeutic strategies to help increase families’ acceptance of their LGBTQ+ child.

The webinar will be followed by an opportunity to ask the presenters questions.


Ilana Seager van Dyk, Ph.D., (she/her) is a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at Massey University in New Zealand. Her research uses experimental and longitudinal methods to examine the social and emotional mechanisms underlying mental health disparities in populations under chronic stress during critical developmental transitions, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ youth. Prior to her current role, she received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, completed her clinical internship at UCLA’s Semel Institute (General Child Track), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York and New Zealand.

Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association Division 53, is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SCCAP maintains responsibility for this program and its content. For registration questions, contact Lynn Canty,