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Clinical Initiatives

Gender Clinic

The Gender Clinic is designed to support the mental health of gender-diverse adults who are seeking evaluation for gender-affirming treatments. We can prepare a letter of readiness for surgery, and support your mental health before, during and after your gender-affirming care.

The Gender Clinic is supervised by a board-certified psychiatrist and led by psychiatry residents and psychology trainees. Our team works closely with the multidisciplinary Northwestern Medicine Gender Pathways Program.

To request an appointment in the Gender Clinic, please fill out the request form.

Pride Clinic

The Northwestern Medicine Pride Clinic is a specialty outpatient psychiatry clinic led by psychiatry residents under the supervision of a board-certified psychiatrist. We focus on serving the mental health needs of LGBTQ2+ people through a variety of mental health services, including:

  • Psychiatric diagnostic evaluation
  • Treatment recommendations
  • Referral for additional behavioral health services
Individual Psychotherapy

We offer psychotherapy services upon request when a clinician and clinic are available. Psychotherapy services include evidence-based individual and relationship therapy. We can address a variety of mental health conditions, including:

  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar spectrum
  • Trauma-related disorders
  • Sexual disorders

Patients are also welcome to engage in psychotherapy to explore their gender identity and their individual journey to identify their needs related to living in their affirmed gender. Most individual psychotherapy is offered by psychology and social work trainees who are supervised by licensed clinicians with expertise in providing gender- and queer-affirming mental health care. This approach decreases wait times for patients seeking psychotherapy services and allows us to offer some services at a significantly reduced rate.

Group Psychotherapy

  • The group meets weekly for one-hour sessions over eight weeks.
  • It is limited to 10 patients so that all participants have space to ask questions and discuss personal experiences as they relate to the mindfulness skill being taught that day.
  • All patients identify as LGBTQ2+, which creates a supportive and affirming space.
  • Each group has a co-facilitator who is also LGBTQ2+.

If you are interested in learning more about the Mindfulness Skills Training group, fill out the survey.

Other group offerings are being developed as part of research and educational initiatives. Check back often for updates on new offerings.

Educational Initiatives

Educating the next generation of mental health clinicians, including psychiatry trainees, psychology trainees, social work interns and medical students, is a central aim of Pride Center. We train all clinicians to provide affirming, supportive and evidence-based mental health care to LGBTQ2+ people.

Trainees have opportunities to gain clinical experience via rotations in the Gender Clinic and Pride Clinic. Psychology trainees and social work students gain experience in providing individual and group psychotherapy. Trainees are instrumental in the creation and leadership of novel Pride Center initiatives, such as new psychotherapy groups and research projects.

Learn more about the psychiatry residency program

Research Initiatives

Through collaboration with the Northwestern Medicine Gender Pathways Program, the Institute of Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, we aim to foster innovative, community-engaged research that progresses the field of mental health for LGBTQ2+ people.

Meet the Team

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Northwestern Medicine Pride Center was co-created and is led by Kaitlyn Kunstman, MD, and Leiszle Lapping-Carr, PhD.

Dr. Kunstman (she/her/hers) completed medical school and psychiatry residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in the mental health care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited (LGBTQ2+) individuals. Her particular emphasis is promoting equitable and affirming care for gender-diverse individuals and increasing medical knowledge around LGBTQ2+ mental health care, both through scholarly work and medical education initiatives in medical education.

Dr. Leiszle Lapping-Carr (she/her/hers) received her doctorate in clinical psychology from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University, one in sexual and relationship health, and one in women’s mental health and perinatal psychology. Dr. Lapping-Carr is an assistant professor in the Northwestern University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She specializes in research and clinical work with people from sexual and gender minority groups who are experiencing distress related to reproductive events, sexual health and relationship health. She also is active in providing graduate-level education to psychology and psychiatry trainees on these topics.