Trauma-Informed Healing for LGBTQIA+ Communities

Course Description

Continuing Education Hours: 6

This session will begin with an overview of key terminology and health outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community. We will discuss trauma genesis and review the impact that trauma, microaggressions, discrimination, and systemic heterosexism and cissexism have on the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals. This course will look at how unintended bias affects the LGBTQIA community as well as examine how medical and mental healthcare have historically been significant sources of trauma. Participants will enhance their awareness of privilege and gain tools to monitor heteronormativity and cisnormativity. During the course, we will examine what affirmative treatment approaches look like and how to adapt assessment, diagnosis, and treatment to conceptualize clients from multiple intersections of identity. We will explore how to integrate trauma-informed care principles into affirmative treatment and healing. The final section will review how to engage in appropriate advocacy efforts and allyship as well as locate supportive local and national resources.

Learning Objectives


  • Participants will understand the vocabulary of this population (homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, cissexism, heteronormativity, and cisnormativity) and understand the impact each has on LGBTQIA+ individuals.
  • Participants will enhance their knowledge of how trauma affects the body and brain and increase awareness of trauma experiences within the LGBTQIA+ community, including in medical and mental healthcare.
  • Learners will conceptualize LGBTQIA+ clients from a multicultural and trauma-informed lens with considerations for intersectionality, minority stress, and internalized homophobia and transphobia.
  • Learners will identify affirmative approaches to healthcare and counseling when working with LGBTQIA+ clients and patients.
  • Participants will integrate trauma-informed principles into affirmative care when working with the LGBTQIA+ population.
  • Participants will identify local and national resources as well as recognize appropriate advocacy efforts and allyship for LGBTQIA+ populations.

Jessica "Jess" Fletcher, MC, LPC, CCTS-I

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Jessica “Jess” Fletcher is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), providing mental health counseling to youth and adults in Arizona. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist for Individuals (CCTS-I) and practices as a LGBTQIA+, poly, kink affirmative clinician. Jess received her Master of Counseling degree at Arizona State University.

She currently works in a private practice, which advocates for affirmative, inclusive care and approaches healing from a health and wellness perspective. Jess has experience counseling in multidisciplinary and community settings such as homes, schools, and integrated medical clinics. She is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and has completed additional training on counseling and supporting gender expansive youth and adults through a program provided by Mercy Care and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Previously, Jess volunteered in the prison system as a psychology and creative writing teacher. In addition to her clinical work, Jess currently co-manages a nonprofit literary journal, Iron City Magazine: Creative Expressions By and For the Incarcerated, which publishes art and writing by those with indirect and direct experience with incarceration.

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