Behavioral Health

Individual and Group Trauma-informed Mental Health Support

Therapy sessions are offered as telehealth via Zoom.  Clients who do not have confidential access to technology are welcome to come in person to the DC LGBTQ+ Community Center and utilize our “Zoom from the Room” computer for remote sessions with our counselors. 

The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center is OVSJG* grant funded to offer crisis and/or short-term individual and group mental health counseling, referrals and advocacy services for adult LGBTQIA+ survivors of violence, abuse and trauma in the District of Columbia. Examples include types of victimization such as intimate partner violence/domestic violence, stalking, sexual and/or physical assault, hate crime (racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, and/or other type of hate crime), bullying, physical abuse/neglect, dating victimization, elder abuse, family violence among other types of primary and secondary traumatization.

Two trauma-informed licensed mental health clinicians offer these services: therapists Jocelyn Jacoby, LGSW, LMSW and Michele Johns, LICSW, (bilingual in Spanish).

These services are intended for crisis counseling and/or short-term supportive care, to assist LGBTQIA+ folks to stabilize an immediate crisis and mobilize or build their own natural supports. Please review the eligibility guidelines below and if we seem to be a good option for your situation, contact us at

For those seeking longer term ongoing therapy, please see the DC LGBTQ+ Community Center website business directory for a number of mental health providers who list with us so that LGBTQIA+ clients can find them more easily. If you look at their posts, you can learn about the issues they cover, their costs, etc. If you would like assistance with this, please let us know.

*DCAVP crisis, short-term and group counseling, referrals and advocacy services are made possible under Grant #2024-MDCC-01, awarded by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia.

Eligibility Guidelines

Please review these guidelines about the scope of our services and let us know if we can assist you.

Identity Eligibility

Identify as LGBQIA/TGNC+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, transgender, gender nonconforming +) survivor of traumatic victimization, not limited to, but could include physical, sexual, psychological, spiritual assault, aggression, intimidation and abuse, one-time or ongoing, interpersonal or systemic, the symptoms of which cause significant dysfunction in home or work life.

Age Eligibility

Services are appropriate for adult clients, ages 18 and above; Ages under 18 will be referred to LGBTQIA+ youth services, such as SMYAL, WWH Youth & Family Services, Wanda Alston Foundation, etc.

Geographical Eligibility

Clients live in one of the DC Quadrants or “DMV area” (DC/VA/MD) 

If requests for services come from LGBTQIA+ clients outside the area, we can assist with services if the trauma, abuse or violence occurred in the DC area. Otherwise, we can assist with info & referral to help get survivors connected to appropriate assistance.

Financial Eligibility

Our support services are grant-funded and are offered at no cost to help LGBTQIA+ survivors in acute crisis and/or LGBTQIA+ survivors who are struggling to find LGBTQIA+ trauma-informed services within their ability to pay or in their insurance networks.

Ideally, for LGBTQIA+ survivors who have sufficient income and insurance, we will work to responsibly refer you to non-DCAVP LGBTQIA+ competent providers either immediately or as soon as possible (crisis or short-term support may be provided if other options are unavailable).

We do recognize, however, that it can be very difficult, even with resources, to find appropriate and affordable LGBTQIA+ competent providers with immediate or reasonable availability. We do our best to assist everyone who seeks help with us with support and with referrals.

Time-limits, Frequency and Type of Support Sessions

  1. Crisis: 30-90 minute sessions, as determined by circumstances, as needed for up to 2 weeks until getting crisis triaged and/or connected to appropriate ongoing care
  2. Individual: 45-minute sessions once weekly or every other week, depending on availability, remote and/or in-person (when available), for 3-6 months, to assist with acute to trauma-history response management (establishing safety, symptom management, and plan for future recovery needs); re-assessment will occur to determine progress, any continued type of need and make plan for next steps 
  3. Working Through Trauma Groups: 10-week 90-minute sessions, closed membership, remote and/or in-person (when available), offered a few times each year (see details of these groups here)
  4. Referrals & Advocacy sessions: 30-90 minute sessions as needed to assist in connecting with providers and services related to the client’s needs.

Trauma-informed Standards of Care

  • Crisis Care: Primary/Secondary Trauma Abbreviated Intake/Triage, Immediate Safety/Needs Assessment, Crisis Stabilization, Crisis Counseling, Crisis Referral and Connection to Any Appropriate Additional Services, Crisis Response Accompaniment (if needed), Assessment for Continued Therapeutic Trauma Symptom Care
  • Therapeutic Trauma Symptom Care (Individual and Group Therapy): Full Intake, Safety Assessment, Symptom Review, Psychoeducation, Strengths-based Counseling, Management Development and Application of Skills, Resiliency Planning
  • Termination and/or Continuity of Care: DC LGBTQ+ Community Center has mental health staff capacity to offer short-term counseling to address a waiting list of LGBTQIA+ trauma survivors and acute crisis clients. Clients who are stabilized and actively practicing resiliency skills can be moved into one of our groups, or referred to continue individual or group therapy with a non-DCAVP therapist in the LGBTQIA+ competent clinicians network.
  • Not offered: Long-term Therapy, Couples Therapy, Psychiatric or Pain Medication Management

Individual Psychotherapy Duration Guideline: 

  1. Phase 1: 3 to 6 months, acute to trauma-response management (safety, symptom management, plan for future recovery needs) 
  2. Phase 2: Re-assessment to after Phase 1 for termination or referral. Continue treatment if still/new acute for 3 more months (if trouble with ADL’s, getting to work, etc), or 2. Terminate and/or Refer, if appropriate (to DCAVP therapy groups, other relevant groups, and/or outside LGBTQIA+ competent therapist)
  3. Phase 3: For those still assessed as acute, re-assessment at 3 more months to determine next steps

LGBTQ+ Trauma-informed Individual and Group Therapy Referrals

Client Reading Resources 

  • Transforming The Living Legacy of Trauma: A Workbook for Survivors and Therapists, by Dr. Janina Fisher
  • Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation, by Janina Fisher 
  • Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, by Dr. Francine Shapiro 
  • Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body, by Dr. Peter Levine

Behavioral Health Events

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