LGBTQIA+ Studies Concentration

LGBTQIA+ Studies

Deliver high-quality care to the LGBTQIA+ community and their families

The LGBTQIA+ Studies concentration aims to increase the number of mental health providers who specialize in providing care for the LGBTQIA+ community and their families. Students enrolled in a graduate degree program at William James College are eligible to participate in the LGBTQIA+ Studies concentration.

The program provides mental health professionals with the language, cultural sensitivity, and clinical competence that will enable them to deliver high-quality care to LGBTQIA+ populations. By training mental health leaders who can create, direct, and deliver high-quality services, the program hopes to aid in eliminating societal disparities that exist in relation to access and quality of mental health care.

For more information on our LGBTQIA+ Studies concentration, please contact our Admissions Office

Stephanie TraverI am excited to be part of the LGBTQIA+ concentration and address this significant need for high-quality and supportive care. I hope to use my expertise to provide care to and help to empower members of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as to address related policy issues and systemic inequities.”

Stephanie Traver Narahara
LGBTQIA+ Studies

How to enroll and curriculum overview.

The concentration focuses on teaching cultural competence through didactics and practice that allow students to learn about cultural and sociopolitical factors that influence the lives of LGBTQIA+ people.

Upon completion of the program students will have the knowledge, skills, and awareness to not only provide culturally competent direct services to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their families, but they will also learn how to be social justice advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community by learning about channels for advocacy and how to effect and promote public policy.

The LGBTQIA+ Studies concentration is open to all WJC students as a 9-credit concentration (3, 3-credit classes). There is no option to complete this concentration as a major vs. minor area of study.

All doctoral level students in the Clinical Psychology program or master’s level students in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program (in the General track) can use electives to fulfill LGBTQIA+ Studies requirements. Master’s level students in the School Psychology MA/CAGS or in the CMHC program (who already have another area of emphasis) will graduate with extra credits. Students in the Leadership Psychology PsyD program are also welcome to participate.

To enroll, students should download and complete the Declaration Concentration Formbefore the deadline (usually November 1, though the date is subject to change). This form should be reviewed and signed by the student’s advisor and then submitted to Jessica Stahl via email (

Doctoral students can apply in the fall of their first or second years; they typically begin courses in the Spring of year 2 or 3. Full-time MA level students should enroll in the fall of the first year and begin taking courses in the Spring of their first year.

The concentration includes 3 required courses, 3 credits for each, for a total of 9 credits:

COU CN631 - Foundations in LGBTQIA+ Mental Health (credits: 3)
COU CN632 - Interventions When Working With LGBTQIA+ People and their Families (credits: 3)
COU CN633 - LGBTQIA+ Intersectionality, Public Policy, and Advocacy (credits: 3)

Courses are offered synchronously via Zoom to make it more accessible to students from different programs with varied schedules.

Students who elect this concentration are required to have experience with the population within settings where they are completing their practicum or internship. There is no set percentage of hours required. Sites that serve LGBTQIA+ populations are designated as such in Sonia.

Doctoral-level students in this concentration are required to complete a DP on a topic germane to LGBTQIA+ people. At least one of the doctoral project committee members must be a LGBTQIA+ Studies faculty or a professional with substantial experience or expertise in the field.

Concentration Faculty

Jessica Stahl

Concentration Director
Jessica Stahl, PhD
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Photo of Sheldon G. Aaron

Sheldon G. Aaron, MS, LCPC (IL), NCC
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Lindsey Davis, PhD
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Kimbell DiCero, PsyD
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Photo of Sarah VanMattson

Sarah B. VanMattson, PhD
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