Sexual and Gender Identity Issues

All of the professionals at CPS are qualified to address the full range of concerns students bring to counseling. However, our counselors do have various areas of special interest or experience. Below is a list of CPS therapists who may be especially good matches for LGBTQ students.

However, please note that if your situation is urgent and a particular counselor is not immediately available, it is generally not wise delaying in seeking assistance. It is best to initiate treatment with a counselor who is more immediately available; you are always welcome to transfer to a different counselor at a later date.

Drop-In Support

Some members of the Sexual and Gender Identity team offer drop-in counseling, providing an opportunity to talk with a clinican without an appointment. View our list of Drop-In locations and schedules for members of the team noted here. In particular, Dr. Kori Bennett holds regular drop-in hours weekly in the Lerner 5 office. 

Please note that hours and locations are subject to change, so always check the website before heading to an office. Sessions are first-come, first-served.

Team

Kori Bennett, Psychologist

Kori Bennett has been interested in how students make sense of their multiple identities, including those related to gender and sexuality since interning at Cal Poly Pomona’s Pride Center as an undergraduate student. Ze views the intentional honoring of the unique stories we each hold and allyship as integral components of community-building, including working toward what Bell Hooks described as a “place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility.” Kori is particularly interested in trans/gender intersectionalities, polyamory/relationship orientation, and international gender/sexuality topics.

Kateri Berasi, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology

As a queer woman, Kateri is dedicated to addressing LGBTQ concerns via clinical work, consultation, and research. For several years Kateri taught a Safe Zone seminar to doctoral students in clinical psychology, educating them about best clinical practice working with LGBTQ individuals. Her dissertation, "The Psychological Impact of the Asylum-Seeking Process in the United States on Individuals Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual" reflects Kateri's commitment to social justice promotion.

Eugenia Cherkasskaya, Psychologist

Eugenia is interested in the issues concerning the multiple facets of sexual and gender identities and how these intersect with other aspects of one’s experience. Staying attuned to the nuance and complexities of these issues, she aims to help students grapple with, make meaning of, express, and embody their sense of self as they also negotiate their relationships to others and their contexts. She has worked with students who identify as LGBTQ+, has awareness of sexual fluidity and different relational configurations (e.g. polyamory), as well as a range of sexual interests and practices. She has written and conducted research on the impact of early relational experiences and bodily self-representations on sexual desire in ciswomen. Eugenia is fluent in Russian.

Rachel Efron, Senior Psychologist

Rachel is a lesbian who has worked extensively with members of LGBTQ communities at Columbia and elsewhere for multiple decades. She is interested in helping students better understand the effects of intersecting identities and systems of oppression on their feelings about themselves, others and the world, including their ways of moving in the world to help them heal, and be more compassionate and kind to themselves. She is also a sex therapist and helps students experience sex as satisfying, passionate, interesting and safe. She has special expertise and 35+ years of experience working with survivors of sexual violence and other trauma (including of bias crimes) as clients and advocates. Rachel co-facilitates Queer Academics, a discussion group for graduate students.

Motoni Fong Hodges, Psychologist

Motoni began her training in LGBTQ affirmative psychotherapy during her internship year at the University of Oregon Counseling Center, where she helped create and co-led a support group for bisexual students. She has co-authored articles on assessment of sexual orientation and sexual identity development of Asian American adolescents, as well as taught a graduate seminar on LGBTQ mental health at Teachers College. Motoni is committed to promoting the emotional and physical well-being of LGBTQ students, as well as striving to advocate on behalf of LGBTQ students of color. Motoni is fluent in Japanese and Mandarin.

Carolina Franco, Ph.D.

Carolina has a professional and personal commitment to LGBTQ mental health. To that end, she sought out clinical training and experience with adolescents, adults, and families grappling with gender and sexual identity related concerns. Carolina is interested in the intersection between social justice and psychological growth. In that spirit she brings an LGBTQ positive focus to her work always. She is fluent in Spanish.

Archana Jain, Psychologist

Archana is interested in helping students understand their identity experiences as they emerge in different contexts and at varying intersections of race, class, culture, religion and trans/gender, sexual orientations. Through her work with the LGBTQ community at Columbia, she hopes to support students as they navigate their identity journeys, helping them create a more meaningful personal narrative for themselves. She is particularly interested in working with international students who may face unique struggles as they contemplate issues of sexual/gender identity and its expression while being so far away from home. Archana is fluent in Hindi.

Adam Johnson, Psy.D.

Adam has training in working with the LGBTQ community in various settings and has been involved in human rights work internationally. His experience includes issues related to sexual and gender identity, coming out, navigating relationships, stigma, and sexual health. Adam also has specialized experience within the community, including with gay men with HIV, individuals with substance abuse concerns, LGBTQ veterans, and individuals identifying within the Latino LGBTQ community. Adam seeks to create a safe and non-judgmental space that allows students of the LGBTQ community to feel accepted and openly explore concerns.

Juliana Martinez, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology

Juliana is attentive to the intersection of multicultural and gender identities. Personally, she identifies as a strong ally of the LGBTQ community and has professionally worked with many young adults in the process of coming out and transitioning in communities where it seems to be a particular challenge to do so. She has also facilitated LGBTQ support and process groups. Juliana is fluent in Spanish.

Sherina Persaud, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology

Sherina Persaud is a member of the LGBTQ community and has experience working in sexual and reproductive health.  Sherina believes that the intersection of our various identities come together to create our unique experience of the world. She therefore aims to understand how these identities intersect for students as they navigate issues related to their gender and sexual identity. She is interested in working with students who are questioning their identities or are facing challenges related to being in the LGBTQ community in an academic settingSherina is fluent in Spanish.

James Pollock, Psychologist

James Pollock began his training in LGBTQ affirmative psychotherapy at the Institute for Human Identity, the oldest LGBTQ therapy center in NYC. Much of James’ clinical work and research has focused on sexual health, negotiating desire with safe sex, and understanding the association between substance use and sexual behavior. James regards with care the diversity of LGBT identities, recognizing that gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, class, and family of origin influence one’s experience with his or her sexual orientation. James has extensive experience working with LGBTQ Veterans.

Maggi Walker, Senior Psychologist

Maggi has years of experience working with students who are in the process of coming out.  As in all areas of self-expression, Maggi encourages students to find their own voice and become comfortable with who they are. She has experience helping students negotiate the often difficult journey they face in the coming out process with family. Maggi also enjoys working with gay and lesbian couples.

Addette Williams, Senior Psychologist

Addette is a member of the LGBTQ ally community and has a particular interest in working with students wanting to explore their multiple and intersecting identities to achieve an integrated sense of wholeness and well-being. Over the years, she has worked with individuals and couples who identify as trans and gender noncomforming.

Rush Williams, Psychologist

Rush’s deep commitment to the LGBTQ and HIV+ communities spans more than two decades. Rush is an openly gay man, and his professional experience includes issues related to sexual identity development and sex positivity among gay men, HIV and STI-related concerns, as well as gender identity and expression. Clinically, Rush enjoys working with individuals on issues related to coming out experiences, anxiety, stigma and bias, and navigating relationship challenges, as well as the challenges posed by intersecting identities. Rush is also committed to members of the military, and has expertise in working with LGBT veterans.

Patricia Yoon, Psychologist

Patricia has long been committed to supporting minority mental health concerns, including where the intersection of sexual and gender identities may pose particular conflict with racial, class, religious, ethnic, and immigration identities. She has worked with individuals during various stages of their identity development and is particularly interested in supporting students who are questioning, coming out, and/or transitioning, and using a family systems perspective to help navigate the systemic challenges they may face, including pervasive stigma and shame. Patricia is proficient in Korean.

Support Groups

From time to time, when there is student interest, CPS offers support groups and other special programs for LGBTQ students. We welcome hearing from student groups who would like to partner with us in developing programs to serve the LGBTQ community. Contact our Associate Director for Outreach, Dr. Anne Goldfield, at ag255@columbia.edu.

 
 
Last updated March 28, 2017