LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Wellness in san luis obispo county

We are exploring the specific mental health and wellness needs of identified communities with the goal of transforming the structure and delivery of mental health, wellness, and support services. Using community-based participatory action research (CBPAR), we hope to create innovative mental health programs, develop an infrastructure of trained LGBTQ-affirming therapists in San Luis Obispo County, and address the issues most relevant to the LGBTQ+ community. To get yourself involved, take our survey or join a focus group!


12/5/2018: We will be closing the LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Wellness Survey soon and moving into data analysis. If you or someone you know has not taken it, please do!

Transgender & Non-binary Affirming Therapy

How can mental health professionals do a better job serving transgender and non-binary clients? What are the evidence-based approaches that actually feel affirming to transgender clients? Using mock-therapy videos and trans narratives, we are adding to the literature about trans peoples' experiences in therapy. 

Publications & Presentations: 

Poster: Effects of therapists affirming and non-affirming reactions to transgender identity exploration on therapeutic relationship: An analogue study

Teaching & Training about Diversity 

There are various methods for teaching about issues of diversity to increase receptiveness and decrease resistance. We are interested in the factors that influence training success (e.g., content and context), for LGBTQ+ trainings with health professionals and students-in-training. A current project tracks the efficacy of a series of trainings on transgender basics for mental health professionals and medical doctors. 

Publications & Presentations: 

Empirical Article: Reactions of Law Enforcement to LGBTQ Diversity Training

Empirical Article: LGBTQ-Affirming Policing: Tactics Generated by Law Enforcement Personnel

Poster: LGBTQ Diversity Trainings with Law Enforcement Personnel: Reactions & Resistance

Powerpoint: Trainings about Transgender & Non-binary Affirming Care

News & Updates: 

News Article: Training allies: Tranz Central Coast aims to meet growing demand for transgender trainings in SLO County 

All Publications


Bettergarcia, J. N., & Israel, T. (2018). Therapist reactions to transgender identity exploration: Effects on the therapeutic relationship in an analogue study. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5(4), 423-431. doi:10.1037/sgd0000288 . PDF


Israel, T., Bettergarcia, JN., Delucio, K., Avellar, T. R., Harkness, A., & Goodman, J.A. (2017) LGBTQ diversity training with law enforcement personnel: Receptiveness and resistance. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 28(2), 197-226. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.21281. PDF

2016 and older

Israel, T., Harkness, A., Avellar, T. R., Delucio, K., Bettergarcia, J. N., & Goodman, J. A. (2015). LGBTQ-Affirming Policing: Tactics Generated by Law Enforcement Personnel. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology,31(3), 173-181. doi:10.1007/s11896-015-9169-2 . PDF

Israel, T., & Bettergarcia, J. N. (2016). Evidence-Based Teaching of LGBTQ Issues in Psychology. In T. Burnes & J. L. Stanley (Eds.) Teaching LGBTQ Psychology: Queering Innovative Pedagogy and Practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Link

Tate, C. C., Bettergarcia, J. N., & Brent, L. M. (2015). Re-assessing the role of gender-related cognitions for self-esteem: The importance of gender typicality for cisgender adults. Sex Roles, 72, 221-236. PDF

Israel, T., Harkness, A., Delucio, K., Ledbetter, J. N.*, & Avellar, T. R. (2014). Evaluation of police training on LGBTQ issues: Knowledge, interpersonal apprehension, and self-efficacy. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 29(2), 57-67. doi: . PDF coming soon

Tate, C. C., Youssef, C. P., & Bettergarcia, J. N. (2014). Integrating the study of transgender spectrum and cisgender experiences of self-categorization from a personality perspective. Review of General Psychology, 18(4), 302-312. doi:10.1037/gpr0000019 . PDF

Tate, C., Ledbetter, J. N.*, & Youssef, C. (2013). A Two‐Question Method for Assessing Gender in Medical and Social Sciences. Journal of Sex Research doi:10.1080/00224499.2012.690110 . PDF