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Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

Antioch University Los Angeles

I didn’t think that I would become a therapist when I was growing up. Before Antioch, I was even enrolled for 2 years in a PhD program in environmental toxicology. Along the way, I came out as transgender and I knew I wanted to be in a field where I was celebrated rather than just tolerated. Coming out changed my life trajectory significantly. I first became an LGBT activist, but I knew my passion could not sustain me in such an extroverted career and I found AULA’s LGBT Specialization.

As a student in the LGBT Specialization, I learned how my internalized homo/bi/transphobia keeps me from a more fulfilled life. It taught me about the beauty and wonder that comes with the unique, special LGBTQIA soul and essence. But I still didn’t understand the power of psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapy until I started my own psychoanalysis with an LGBTQIA affirmative psychoanalyst. As an MFT trainee, I utilized psychoanalysis to address vicarious traumatization from working with other transgender and gender non-binary people dealing with trauma. Through the containment and working through negative transference, I was able to explore my past and challenge my own internalized homo/bi/transphobia.

I’m excited to share my knowledge and expertise about LGBT affirmative therapy and learn from all of your journeys as we co-create an educational and transformative experience that is unique to the LGBT specialization at AULA.

Educational History

PsyD in Applied Clinical Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2019
MA in Clinical Psychology, LGBT Specialization & Health Psychology concentration, Antioch University Los Angeles, 2011
BS in Biology, Santa Clara University, 2005

  • The Therapeutic Alliance between Transgender or Gender Nonbinary Patients and Cisgender Therapists
  • The Intersection of Physical and Mental Health: Psychological Factors of Obesity in Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women
Cathers, C. (2020). Rose is so much sweeter: Navigating the name change process with
transgender and gender non-conforming clients. In J. S. Whitman & C. J. Boyd
(Eds.), The Therapist’s Notebook for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients: Homework, Handouts, and Activities for Use in Psychotherapy. New York: Haworth Clinical Practice Press.
Cathers, C., Carter, C. & Landon, S. (2017). Teaching LGBT Psychology in Community Settings In J. Stanley and T. Burnes (Ed.), Teaching LGBTQ Psychology: Queering Innovative Pedagogy and Practice. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.
Cathers, C. (2021, Feb). The Role of Cisgender Providers in TGNB Mental Health Care. Presented at Trans Health Symposium. Los Angeles, CA
Cathers, C., Nelson, L., Vasquez, R., Jones, R., and Smith, L. (2017, Nov) Becoming An LGBTQIA-Affirmative Therapist: Why Simply Being Friendly Isn’t Enough? Presented at EDGY (Embracing the Diversity of GLBTQ Youth and Families) Conference 2017, Los Angeles, CA.
Cathers, C., Plasketes, A., Norodom, S., Alvadado, K., and Shakti, S. (2016, Nov). ‘What my teachers didn’t tell me:’ Practical learning working with LGBTQI youth. Presented at EDGY (Embracing the Diversity of GLBTQ Youth and Families) Conference 2016, Los Angeles, CA.
Flan, K., Carroll, K., Keller, M., Burnes, T., and Cathers, C. (2016, Apr). Crafting Change: Genderfluid Students in the Creative Writing Workshop. Presented at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs 16th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
Cathers, C. (2014, Dec). Get to Know Me. Presented at Azusa City LGBTQ Forum, Azusa, CA.
Cathers, C. (2014, June). Introduction to Transgender Affirmative Psychodynamic/Depth Psychotherapy. Presented at American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) 46th Annual Conference. Monterrey, CA
Cathers, C. (2014, Feb). Gender Empowerment in the Workplace. Presented at Target Corporation Leadership and Diversity 2014. Los Angeles, CA.
Evans, K. and Cathers, C. (2013, Nov). How to Transition on the Job as a Therapist. Presented at the 18th Annual Lesbian and Gay Psychology Conference, Chadsworth, CA
Cathers, C. (2013, May) Using a Private Practice Internship to Build Your Future Practice. Presented at 2nd Annual AULA Career Resources Conference, Culver City, CA.
Deutsch, L., Mangassarian, S. and Cathers, C. (2013, March) Effective approaches for underperforming students in higher and medical education. Poster Presentation at the What Really Works in Education Conference, Northridge, CA.
Turen, E. & C. Cathers (2012, Oct.) Sex, Love and Relationships. Presented at 6th Annual TranSolutions, West Hollywood, CA.
Cathers, C. (2012, Jul.) Sex and Our Bodies: Talking to Your Partner about Sexual Intimacy (for younger teens). Presented at Gender Spectrum Family Conference, Berkley, CA.
Cathers, C. (2012, Jul.) Sex and Our Bodies: Talking to Your Partner about Sexual Intimacy (for older teens). Presented at Gender Spectrum Family Conference, Berkley, CA.
Cathers, C. (2012, Mar). Transference and Countertransference with Transgender, Genderqueer, and Gender Non-Conforming Clients. Presented at “Culture and Social Justice Within The Rainbow”. Ontario, CA.
Cathers, C. (2011, Oct). Your Body: Your Rules: Talking about Sex & Intimacy for Trans Youth. Presented at Models of Pride 19.
Turen, E., Morrissey, M., Landon, S. L., Padnick, A., & Cathers, C. (2011, June). Transference and Countertransference Working with Transgender Identified Clients. Presented at 5th Annual TranSolutions. Los Angeles, CA
Cathers, C. & E. Jaye Johnson (2011, July). Trans FTM Caucus. Presented at 6th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit. Los Angeles, CA.
Cathers, C. (2011, Apr). Psychological Factors of Physical Health Concerns in Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women of Color. Presented at Queer People of Color Conference 2011: Decolonize Your Mind.
Costine, L., Cathers, C., Hayman, Y., Leon, M., & Lowe, J. (2010, Oct). Lesbian Invisibility: A Lesbian-Affirmative Approach to Overcoming the Negative Effects of Collective Heterosexism on the Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Psyche. Presented at the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association (LAGPA) 16th Annual LGBT Psychotherapy Conference. Culver City, CA


  • First Year Member Outstanding Service and Leadership, University of California at Riverside Queer Alliance, 2006-2007
  • Best Presenter Award, UCR Graduate Student Association 4th Annual Research Conference, June 7th, 2008. “Toxicity
  • Testing for the Ecdysone Agonist Formulation INTREPID®2F on Culex quinquefasciatus Larvae at Different Stages of Development”

 Grants, Fellowships & Scholarships 

  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology Presidents Award: $7000 for the 2012-2013 school year
  • Sandra Golvin Memorial Scholarship: $1250 for Winter 2009.
  • Antioch Opportunity Grant: $1000 Winter 2009.
  • Sandra Golvin Memorial Scholarship for Transgender-Affirmative Students: $2000 Winter 2008.
  • University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program (UC TSR&TP) Student Fellowship Recipient. “The Hidden Implications of Pesticides: Does Ecdysone Agonist-Induced Population Reduction Improve Mosquito Fitness-Related Life History Traits in Culex quinquefasciatus?” Funded for $59,910 for July 2008 – June 2010.

In addition to teaching at Antioch University Los Angeles, I am the executive director of The Affirmative Couch, which provides online continuing education for psychotherapists on working with sexuality and gender.

American Psychological Association (Division 13: Society for Consulting Psychology, Division 39: Psychoanalysis, Division 44: Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity)
American Psychoanalytic Association
California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists
Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals Association
Los Angeles Psychological Association
Cadyn Cathers

Teaching Faculty,

MA in Psychology


Courses Taught

Core Classes:
  • Human Sexuality (Psy 5470)
  • Process I (Psy 5010A)
  • Process of Psychotherapy II (Psy 5400C)
  • Personality I: Psychodynamic Theories (Psy 5310A)
  • Psychopathology & Treatment Planning (Psy5410G)
  • Field Study (Psy5120A)
  • Working with LGBTQIA Clients: Theoretical Applications (Psy 5930SS)
  • Research for Mental Health Professionals (Psy 5360D)
  • Psychopharmacology (Psy 5930D)
LGBT Specialization Classes:
  • LGBT Clinical and Psychological Wellness Across the Lifespan (PSy 5930FF)
  • Therapeutic Process with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients (Psy 5930QQ)
  • Transgender and Gender Diverse Clients: An Affirmative Approach (Psy 5930JJ)
  • Therapeutic Process with Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Clients (Psy5930QQ)
  • Intersex Clients: Biomedical, Ethical and Psychological Considerations (Psy5931)
  • Melanie Klein: Object Relations for Relational Therapies (Psy 5930W)
  • Making Melanie Klein Relevant: Accessing and Transforming Infantile States (Psy5730W)
  • Clinical Applications of Winnicott’s Thinking (Psy 5730D)

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