My Story

Who we are

The Trans Counseling Advocacy Research and Education (CARE) Collaborative is a group of social justice driven community members and academics conducting research that affirms the experiences of Two-spirit, trans, nonbinary (2STNB), gender-nonconforming, and gender diverse individuals.  Through a critical lens, our work aims to meaningfully transform and advance the position of 2STNB and gender diverse issues within the field of psychology. Our research focuses on the pathways to wellbeing and healing for 2STNB people.  We embrace empowerment, reflexivity, and liberation in our advocacy for and with 2STNB people. Meet the members of the Trans CARE Collaborative!

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Study Staff
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Sergio Domínguez, Jr

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Grayson Schultz

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j.nyla mcneill

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Joonwoo Lee

Sergio Domínguez, Jr
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Pronouns: they/them

Sergio Domínguez, Jr is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their research broadly examines trans wellbeing, ethical and legal professional issues in psychology, and in the transformative power of relationships in psychotherapy and in community-engaged research. They provide instruction for mental health practitioners related to treatment with LGBTQ+ clients holding multiple minority identities, focusing especially on bolstering resilience in trans youth and adults through gender-affirming care. Sergio's advocacy and consultation work focus on advancing health equity through increasing access to basic needs, including transition-related services and mental healthcare. For their advocacy efforts, Sergio has been invited to consult with elected officials and with the American Psychological Association, advocate for minoritized undergraduate and graduate students in psychology, and engage in local and national activist-led efforts. Sergio is an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Psychological Sciences, and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. For their activism, research, and service, Sergio received the Outstanding LGBT Graduate Student Award (2021) from the Society for Counseling Psychology.

 

In their free time, Sergio enjoys outdoor activities (i.e., hiking, foraging), cooking, and watching Nailed It! and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Grayson Schultz
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Pronouns: he/him

Grayson Schultz (he/him) is an activist, educator, researcher, and writer currently living on the stolen and unceded lands of the Osage and Shawnee tribal nations in southeastern Ohio. From his day job advocating for LGBTQIA2S+ patients at Included Health to working with groups like the Trans CARE Collaborative, Grayson enjoys focusing on how we can best advocate for communities that are forcibly, systematically, and continually oppressed. His research interests include LGBTQIA2S+ health and wellbeing, chronic illness and disability, healthcare, systems change, and liberation. In his free time, Grayson enjoys cooking, gaming, and renovating his first home with his partner and two helper dogs.

j. nyla mcneill
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Pronouns: they/them

j. nyla mcneill (they/them) is a nonbinary, Nigerian-Visayan-Hispanic+ diasporic polymath: a liberation psychology researcher and writer invested in contributing to a more affirming Black and brown, Two-Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive mental healthcare; an artist; community educator; musician; poet; skater; practical magician; model; organizer. mx. j. owns a consulting and coaching practice, Mx. Lifestyling, that aids individuals, organizations, and institutions though major life and systems changes.

Joonwoo Lee
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Pronouns: he/him

Joonwoo Lee (he/him) is a trans-researcher and therapist from South Korea. Joonwoo's research interest is in understanding trans individuals' experience of relational stress from parents or CTPSD, and how the CPTSD symptoms might make them more vulnerable to internalization of the society's transnegative messages. Joonwoo focuses on developing intervention strategies that can empower trans populations with CPTSD and how they navigate their identity.

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Marquel Norton

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Louis Lindley

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Lyuchen Ben

Marquel Norton
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Pronouns: they/any pronouns

Marquel (they/any pronouns) is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a Black and queer researcher and therapist in training, they prioritize learning from community engaged research to understand the need for mental health providers in trans and queer communities of color. Broadly, their research focuses on the well-being of Black trans and queer community, with emphasis the mediating effects of authenticity, critical consciousness, belonging, and place-making activities. Their work is heavily informed by a wide-range of critical theories including Black Queer Studies, Trans of Color Critique, Black Trans Feminism, Critical Race Theory, and Affect Theory. They enjoy all things Black and liberatory.

Louis Lindley
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Pronouns: he/him

Louis is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. His research interests focus on gender dysphoria’s interactions with gender minority stress and how transgender individuals navigate sex and sexuality. Due to being raised in Texas, Lou enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner and their three dogs in the summer and hiding under a blanket indoors during the winter.

Lyuchen Ben
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Pronouns: they/them

Lyuchen is a second-year master's student in Counselor Education at the University of Minnesota. Their research interests are (1) resilience and positive diverse gender identity, (2) the intersection of diverse gender identity and diverse ethnicity, and (3) competence in counseling gender diverse and sexually diverse people. They believes that besides identity, gender can also be a relational status - they expresses themself depending on contexts; their community has an impact on their gender expression. Lyuchen wishes that one day, no one needs to wait for Halloween to freely express their gender.

Study Therapists 
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Jahkazia “Jae” Richardson

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Michael Accardo

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Andrés Brown

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JL

Jahkazia “Jae” Richardson
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Pronouns: she/her and they/them

I am a Black, femme, licensed clinical social worker and a healer, energy worker and educator. Through my own root work, I discovered my calling was guided by three principles: Healing is resistance. Magic is resistance. Resistance is liberation. 

 

I use collaboration, affirmation and empowerment to support others in their own healing work and practice from a social justice, holistic and afro-spirituality framework. I also integrate skills from CBT, EMDR and DBT into my counseling work. To ensure I'm delivering the highest level of care, I'm training with David Young Oh, LCMHC, at Radical Healing, as my clinical supervisor. 

 

My passion towards individual and collective healing stems from own trauma work. My desire to break down generational traumas runs deeply and vibrationally. As marginalized individuals, we must heal our communities on a spiritual, vibrational, and psychological level, and I am honored to walk with you in your journey towards finding the ancestral power within you.

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Michael Accardo, PhD, LCP
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I am a therapist who specialize in LGBTQIA+ affirming support. Much of my therapeutic work is influenced by a minority stress and trauma perspective. I employ values-based and emotion-focused therapeutic styles as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and problem-solving strategies. Working in tandem, I hope that we can process personal and collective trauma to be able to live life more richly and meaningfully.

Open Space CCW

PsychologyToday

Andrés Brown, MS, LMFT
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Pronouns: they/he/elle

As a queer, multiracial, and genderqueer therapist & healer, I view my role as sharing in the process of nourishing each client’s innate capacity to heal- honoring our individual and collective resilience. I hold our “problems” as adaptive and protective responses to unkind, unsafe, and unwelcoming environments and relationships, and believe that we can find meaningful change and relief from distress in our lives through connection, safety, and hope. I specialize in queer identity development and trauma healing for acute, systemic, historical, and spiritual trauma. My role as healer is not contained only in the therapy room; I work to make the world kinder through community education and advocacy, as well. My hope is that therapy provides a safe and celebratory space, one in which my clients may integrate inner and outer worlds with joy and abundance. 

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JL Lee, MSW, LSWAIC
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Pronouns: they/them

I am a them and a they. And a bit femme-ish.

 

I am excited to be part of this study with the Trans CARE Collective with the intention of creating accessible mental health support to QTBIPOC communities. 

 

I offer a free 15 minute consultation as an opportunity for us to get a feel for each other as a therapist-client fit. You can find my bio on our website.

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River Tu

River Tu, LPC
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Pronouns: they/them

I am a sex positive therapist with lived experience in the kink/BDSM, non-monogamous, queer, ace/aro, and trans communities. This makes me acutely aware and up-to-date on the challenges of intersecting identities, and allows me to take a personalized, trauma-informed, approach to therapy. I operate from an anti-oppression, decolonization, and social justice framework. The foundation of my counseling style is rooted in the belief that you have the inner wisdom to transform your life. My approach is direct, compassion focused, and affirming. I utilize mindfulness, DBT, CBT, ACT, IFS, and EMDR practices to guide you to access the information you need.  Although my focus is working with marginalized communities, I do work with other folx as well. I have experience working with people diagnosed with C-PTSD, anxiety related disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and addiction.

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Principal Investigators
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Stephanie Budge

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Elliot Tebbe

Stephanie Budge, PhD
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Pronouns: they/them

Stephanie Budge (she/her) is a queer, white, cis associate professor in Counseling Psychology and the director of the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a licensed psychologist who works tirelessly to improve access to mental health care for Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people. She is also a researcher who uses community-engaged methods to work toward trans liberation and healing. Stephanie is the principal investigator (PI) of this project, meaning that she coordinates the day-to-day components of the research.

Elliot Tebbe, PhD, LP
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Pronouns: he/him

Elliot (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at UW-Madison. Elliot’s received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida in 2015, and his work focuses in mental health. A queer trans man himself, Elliot is dedicated to contributing to improving the lives of trans and nonbinary (TNB) people and communities. He is driven by a desire to understand and address the ways in which system inequities and injustices drive mental health concerns and other health disparities, as well as to explore and promote the strengths individuals and communities draw upon to resist oppression and to thrive. In addition to his generalist training as a mental health practitioner, Elliot specializes in working with queer and TNB clients, topics on which he regularly engages in training and education with other health professionals. 

Other Trans CARE Collaborative Members
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Yusuf Barburoğlu

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Delaney Dvorak

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Syd

Yusuf Barburoğlu
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Pronouns: they/them

Yusuf Barburoğlu (they/them/theirs) is a doctoral student at Middle East Technical University's (Ankara/Turkey) Psychological Counseling program. They took their master's degree from Middle East Technical University's Psychological Counseling program by specializing in gender identity discrimination related traumas and psychological well-being among trans+ identities and experiences based on the Minority Stress Model. They have been working in TED University's Psychological Counseling program as a RA/TA since 2020. As a counselor, they volunteer for a local LGBTIQ+ NGO's psychosocial support network. They are a Fulbright grantee and an active member of Y-PEER conducting voluntary research and field projects related to youth studies and comprehensive sexual health education. Their research interests are as follows; psychological trauma, LGBTIQ+ issues in counseling, masculinities, and comprehensive sexual health education. Yusuf enjoys doing yoga, experimental cooking, and following independent cinema in their free time.

Delaney Dvorak
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Pronouns: they/them

Delaney (they/them) is a senior at UW Madison studying Gender and Women's Studies and Molecular Biology interested in Master's programs in Counseling. They are working on a senior thesis project on embodiment of gender euphoria in trans students: https://gws.wisc.edu/body-mapping-research-with-kate-phelps-and-delaney-dvorak/ They are excited about positive trans narratives and trans healing. Outside of the Collaborative and other research projects, they like to bike and do art projects. 

Syd
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Pronouns: they/them

Syd (they/them) is a social worker/psychotherapist working in Tkaronto (Toronto), Canada. Syd works on incorporating decolonial and abolitionist practices into their therapy practice with trans youth and adults. Syd is deeply invested in reducing isolation for trans clients and clinicians, while increasing access to communities of care.