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Elizabeth Ollen, PhD, MA


Elizabeth Ollen, PhD, MA is Clinical Director of the EMPWR Program for LGBTQ mental health and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Ollen has extensive experience working with LGBTQ youth and their families, including youth exploring/questioning gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Dr. Ollen’s past research includes projects on topics of help seeking among suicidal LGBTQ youth, relationship abuse among LGBTQ communities, LGBTQ parenting – including families formed through foster care, adoption, and gamete donation, and institutionalized discrimination against LGBTQ communities.

Dr. Ollen has also developed and piloted a manualized intervention for caregivers/parents of adolescents who are LGBTQ or exploring gender and/or sexual identities. The intervention provides psychoeducation about adolescent development and teaches tangible skills to improve communication around gender and sexuality, manage their own reactions to the youth’s identity, and advocate for their youth.

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 extensively trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, exposure-based therapies, and multiple trauma interventions. Dr. Ollen has additional specialized training in treating the unique stressors and experiences of foster and adopted youth and their families.

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), including the Executive Committee of Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) and the APA Task Force for revising the clinical guidelines for lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.