Counseling Supports for LGBTQ+ Youth

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LGBTQ youth are often classified as a homogeneous group, but the diversity among and within them is more distinct than many people realize. The need for school-based mental health supports for LGBTQ youth is evident in higher rates of unhappiness, drug use, school dropout, truancy, suicide, harassment, family discord, and reduced self-referral rates. Despite the need and demand, few resources are available to use in a counseling format. During this session, strategies to encourage and foster resiliency in these at-risk students will be presented along with a counseling program designed to empower school-based mental health staff to serve as advocates for LGBTQ youth and to provide counseling support for students in grades 6–12. Resources will be identified and participants will leave with the ability to effectively advocate for sexual minority and gender-diverse youth as well as implement an innovative counseling program within their own schools to support these students. The content in this webinar is intertwined with domains 2, 4, 6, and 8 of the NASP Practice Model.’s recorded webinars are non-refundable. Attendees who complete this 1-hour webinar will receive 1.0 NASP-Approved CPD credit.  

Participants will:

  1. Understand the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that serve as the foundation in working with LGBTQ+ youth

  2.  Learn or enhance individual, group, and family-oriented therapeutic techniques that support LGBTQ+ youth mental health and well-being

  3. Learn about a counseling program designed to empower school-based mental health staff to serve as advocates for LGBTQ youth and to provide counseling support for students in grades 6–12

Presenter Bio:

Amy Cannava, Ed.S., NCSP, is in her 20th year of practice as a school psychologist and the recipient of the 2019 NASP Presidential Award in recognition of Exceptional Service to Children and School Psychology. For the last decade she has specialized in LGBTQIA+ youth which resulted in her being appointed as the Chair of NASP’s LGBTQI2-S Committee. Amy is a recognized and frequently requested speaker at local and national conferences. She has authored book chapters for NASP on LGBTQIA+ youth, worked with The Trevor Project, GLSEN, Gender Spectrum, HRC, PBS Frontline, HBO, and Project Thrive representing NASP. A former crisis counselor for The Trevor Project, Amy remains inspired and appropriately challenged by the youth she serves who motivate her to continue bettering the world.

Attendee Feedback: 

“An engaging presenter! Much information was able to be covered in such a short time period. Good, practical information.” – Michele

“I really enjoyed the presentation.  This is an area I have little experience with.  I know we are seeing more and more students presenting as LBGTQ at an early age. The information is helpful when considering my own biases and what I see from other educators at the elementary level.” – Christine

“Amy is very knowledgeable of this topic. She is also a very passionate advocate/ally for marginalized youth. You could tell from her presentation that she wants people to learn more about these students and their unique and specific needs.” – Jonathan

“The presenter was very knowledgeable on the content area. She provided numerous resources to access for future use.” – Brittani

“Amy was extremely thorough and willing to answer participants’ questions to provide a better understanding. I appreciated her sentiment of allowing the youth individual themselves to explain their identity to the counselor/adult in addition to her expression of the importance of sensitivity in certain situations as well as the evaluation of personal biases.” – Jacqueline

“Amy was an excellent presenter. I appreciated that she added some elementary perspective once she found out many of us worked in elementary schools.” -Beth

“I appreciate that care that Amy took to define and answer questions about identity-related terminology to catch anyone up who was not familiar. I also found it helpful that she provided a 9-week curiculum outline for a lgbtq+ counseling group, and made connections to activities/themes we may already be familiar with that could be utilized for this specific curriculum. Overall, it was an excellent presentation and a great way to brush up on my knowledge of this topic!” -Kelly

“The presenter demonstrated a good understanding of content and provided excellent examples when referring to and working for the LGBTQ+ youth community. Overall, I felt the presentation went very well, and we did not encounter any technical difficulties while the webinar was in session.” – Agustin

“Presentation provided excellent visuals to accompany verbal presentation. Good examples to use in counseling groups (including what NOT to do). Presenter allowed time for questions at strategic points.” – Alexandra

“I thought that the presenter was mindful of the different levels of knowledge of the audience members.  She was able to provide information and answer questions for those that did not have a lot of knowledge coming into this presentation, including myself. Great job!” – Karen

Course Information

Course Instructor Author

Recorded Webinar

1 year of access

You can access this individual webinar for $25 or you can access all the webinars for just $99 through our Back to School sale.