Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Gary Howell, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Patricia Dixon, Psy.D.


Despite more recent advancements in social acceptance and legislative advancements, LGBTQ+ peoples have continued to suffer from institutional and cultural oppression which has resulted in disproportionately higher levels of negative psychological outcomes, particularly for youth. The behavioral health establishment should be best-suited for addressing these concerns, but a history of stigmatizing LGBTQ+ peoples has created a paucity of population-sensitive treatment interventions which could be beneficial for use with younger people of sexually diverse identity. This paper posits that empowerment narrative therapy, with its emphasis on re-framing the stories of individuals to draw on their history of resilience to confront personal and social injustice, can be the basis for the creation of a modality which addresses the specific challenges of young LGBTQ+ individuals who have been isolated from their own community and cultural traditions. By examining ways in which other marginalized communities have utilized narrative empowerment approaches, this paper will propose a treatment intervention which seeks to empower youth of diverse sexual identities by drawing on their unique historical traditions of resiliency and resistance in order to create greater behavioral health outcomes and social change in their own lives and communities.