Counseling Services

We offer affordable, sliding-scale mental health care to HIV-positive individuals, as well as anyone in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning community based on a sliding payment scale and insurance if you have it. Our counselors are very sensitive to LGBTQ+ and HIV issues.

The LGBT Life Center is a safe space where members and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and queer/questioning community of Hampton Roads can join together in a network of support and acceptance. Our mental health program focuses on empowerment, inclusion, and holistic wellness.

We exist so that every member of the local LGBTQ+ community has the resources needed to thrive and live meaningful lives. Our counselors are specially prepared to work with the specific challenges that the LGBT community faces.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community including individuals, couples, families, or allies; welcome to our safe space.

Ready to talk? Call us at 757-640-0929

 

We provide counseling for:

  • coming out
  • gender transitioning (gender exploration, referrals for hormones and surgeries, gender marker changes, etc.)
  • relationship issues (including family or social rejection)
  • intimate partner violence
  • discrimination

Schedule an appointment:
757-640-0929

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • parenting
  • life transitions
  • personality disorders
  • and many other issues.

Training and Consultations

In addition to providing counseling, we also provide consultation for other therapist. It is our goal to not only provide LGBT affirming counseling, but also to empower local counselors and agencies to do the same. Our Clinical Director, Cory Gerwe, has taught counseling and human service courses in evidence-based therapy and LGBT issues at ODU, along with providing consultation to local mental health agencies and individual counselors. If you are interested, please call The Center at 757-640-0929 for more information.

We currently accept credit card, cash, Medicaid, Ryan White funding, and private health care insurance.

Counselors

Cory Gerwe, PhD, LPC, Director of Mental Health Services
Are you a part of the LGBTQ+ community and want LGBTQ+ affirming therapy? Do you want to create a roadmap to your success and well-being in life? We will work together in a safe and supportive environment to explore any area you are concerned with and to expand your inner wisdom. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I will work with you in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner that respects diversity and understands experiences of discrimination. Within an LGBTQ+ affirming framework, I can help people with coming out, gender transitioning (gender exploration, referrals for hormones and surgeries, gender marker change, etc.),  relationship issues (including family or social rejection), intimate partner violence, discrimination, anxiety,  depression, parenting, life transitions, anxiety, personality disorders, and an array of other issues.

Dr. Sonya L. Lee, Ed. D,LPC, LSATP, HS-BCP, ICCS, CCS, ICAADC, CAADC, CSAC, QMHP-A
Dr. Sonya L. Lee is the Director of Behavioral Services for the Detox Unit at Southampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Virginia. After serving in the United States Navy for 27 years Dr. Lee retired in 2016 to pursue other endeavors. Dr. Lee ventured into private practice providing outpatient substance use disorder treatment and consulting. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, working within the community and traveling.

Dr. Lee strives to educate others to understand that drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. She believes that drug addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. For that reason education and outreach are keys in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use and that family members, the community and health care providers have crucial roles in educating individuals in an effort to prevent drug use and addiction.

Venitta Johnson Counselor LGBT Life CenterVenitta Johnson, LCSW

As a licensed clinical social worker, I believe in the therapeutic philosophy that is modeled after Plato’s quote “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I believe in challenges instead of problems and that sometimes you just need to talk. You need to talk to someone who is objective, warm, accepting, and who will listen with unconditional positive regard. Perhaps your friends and family have given you an indication that they are tired of listening to your challenges…that’s where I come in.

I provide supportive psychotherapy. If I can’t walk with you to the light, I will sit with you in the dark.

I am also passionate about counseling those who are experiencing mood disorders, trauma, substance use disorders, and chronic illness. My treatment is strategically eclectic and diverse. I utilize Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to assist you in becoming your best self.

Specializing in: Anxiety disorders, Chronic Illness, Coping Skills, Domestic Violence, Emotional Disturbance, Grief, Racial Identity, Stress, Trauma and PTSD, Women’s Issues

 

 

Amber George, MS, Counselor Resident

As a counselor resident at the LGBT Life Center, Amber George provides compassionate therapy for LGBTQ+ individuals in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Client concerns may or may not center on sexual, affectional, or gender identity issues. Many new clients express that they are in the process of change or desire to make changes in their lives. Ms. George provides an affirming, strengths-based therapeutic space where people work to process concerns and achieve goals. She emphasizes identifying and resolving barriers to personal freedom, creating and choosing meaning behind experiences, utilizing mindfulness, and understanding the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to develop mastery of them.

 

 

Counseling Internship Program

LGBT Life Center is happy to host interns and practicum students on a regular basis. Please note that internship/ practicum placement is based on availability and quality of fit for this site. Filling out an application does not guarantee an internship/ practicum at LGBT Life Center. An interview will be required for all students prior to being accepted.

Please click here to complete the internship application.