LGBTQIA+ Affirming Therapy in Charlotte, NC


    Counseling, Therapy, & Support for LGBTQIA+

    There are many readily available statistics that show us that members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience the same mental health difficulties as the wider population but at higher rates.

    What isn’t often included is the fact that these challenges are typically caused by discrimination, stigma, and social pressures.

    At ChangeWell Psych, our intention is to be sensitive and non-pathologizing.

    TO BE CLEAR: Being gay, queer, trans, questioning, fluid, etc. is not a mental illness, a problem that needs to be solved, or any sort of indicator that someone has done something wrong.

    Rather, these are important aspects of your ever-growing identity and parts of you that deserve to be met with compassion and respect.

    We are here to support, affirm, and hold space for you as you navigate the nuance of life and love, no matter where you are on your self-discovery journey.

    LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy, counseling, and support
    LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy, counseling, and support

    Inclusive, Compassionate, & Affirming Clinicians

    Exploring your sexual and/or gender identity often comes with waves of emotions and many, many questions. You may be searching for the right label, wondering how others will react, or even questioning if you’re queer/trans “enough.”

    This can be overwhelming and, you don’t need to go through it alone. We can ponder these questions together.

    On the other hand, maybe you know exactly who you are and want a therapist who sees you for you and who also understands the unique mental health challenges of being a member of a marginalized group.

    Our therapists work hard to stay informed on the ever-changing language, policies, and best practices for affirming care so that we can advocate with and for you.

    We have affirming clinicians, both of lived experience and of fierce allyship with specialized training and the utmost dedication to being inclusive both in the therapy room and outside of it.

    We are a practice that has already intentionally thought about you before you even walk in the door.


    Meet ChangeWell Psych's Therapists

    Leia Charnin, Ph.D.

    Licensed Psychologist

    Talley Mortara, LMFTA

    Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

    Aliya Saulson, LCSW

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker

    Emily Soukhanouvong, Psy.D.

    Licensed Psychologist

    Eileen Geiger, LCMHCA

    Licensed Mental Health Counselor


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is an affirming therapist?

    There are many important aspects of our identities, and ChangeWell therapists honor each part of who you are.

    It is deeply engrained in our work to validate your gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

    All of our providers actively engage in continuing education and consultation to be current in education about gender affirming care.

    We integrate the psychological impact of culture, history, heteronormativity, trauma, and intersectionality within the therapeutic work.

    Do you have all-gender restrooms?

    Yes! Our client restroom is ADA-accessible and a private, all-gender unit.

    I’m queer/trans/gender diverse and know exactly who I am, but have other stuff going on with my mental health that I’m looking for a therapist for.

    There is so much more to you than your sexual or gender identity; it’s an important part of who you are and might not be something you need or want to “work on.”

    Your sessions are for you; you get to decide what to talk about and how to use your time.

    Our therapists are trained to understand the unique intersection of mental health challenges for the LGBTQIA+ community and have incorporated that knowledge into their clinical work, just as any identity piece would be considered for any client.

    With historical harm caused by our field, it is a vital focus of ours to be intentional about affirming your identity–it is unethical and abusive to try to change or “convert” your identity.

    I’m a parent seeking therapy for my child who says they might be gay/non-binary/transgender and how do I support my child?

    It’s new; it can be a lot to learn. You want to support your kid in the best way and are unsure how to do that.

    Take a deep breath and know you are not alone. We are glad that you’re here and are happy to consult with you on how to meet your needs as a parent.

    It may be beneficial to seek a therapist for your own process and we have therapists that can see you at ChangeWell. We will gladly connect you with trusted community resources who can help you and your family navigate best supporting one another.

    A great place to start is PFLAG.

    Do you provide letters for medical gender-affirming interventions?

    Yes, many of our providers are part of an interdisciplinary team called Charlotte Trans Health.

    Our gender-affirming letter assessment process does not and cannot determine your gender identity for you–only you can determine that.

    Rather, we document conversations regarding your embodiment process that many surgical/hormonal providers may require for such procedures.

    If you are interested specifically in obtaining a letter, our therapists provide this service for active clients or we are happy to help connect you to community provider for letter-only services.

    I am finally becoming comfortable with who I am worried about sharing that news with others and how they will react. How can a therapist support me in this process?

    Coming out is a very personal and ongoing process–it’s different for every single person.

    You can talk with your therapist about addressing your personal relationships and personal needs.

    That can look like processing grief around relationships changing, or creating boundaries, or providing education and resources.

    If any of these concerns arise, we will work through it with you.


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