Advancing Awareness in LGBTQ Care, Part I: History of Specialized Treatment for LGBTQ+ Clients

A Recorded Webinar

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Recorded on Friday, June 18, 2021 

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The need for specialized treatment for LGBTQ+ individuals was first addressed in 1979 at the Rutgers Summer School on Alcoholism, which led to the founding of NALGAP: The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies. The co-founders of NALGAP will discuss those origins along with landmarks that followed NALGAP’s establishment, including how SAMHSA eventually published A Provider's Guide for Working with LGBT Individuals and a curriculum for training all professionals on the specific issues of LGBT clients.


Joe Amico, MDiv, LADC I, CAS, is an international speaker on LGBTQ+ addiction issues, licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor, certified addictions specialist, and ordained United Church of Christ clergyperson. Amico is past president of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH) and NALGAP: The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies. He serves on the editorial advisory board of Addiction Professional; advisory board for the New England Addiction Technology and Transfer Center, board of directors for the National Rural Alcohol and Drug Abuse Network, and NAADAC’s Clinical Issues Committee. Amico is currently the Pastor at Tabernacle Congregational Church (UCC) in Salem, MA.

Invited Panelists

Anne Helene Skinstad, PhD, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. She is the Project Director for three Technology Transfer Centers (TTCs); the National American Indian & Alaska Native Addiction-, Mental Health-, and Prevention TTCs. She has overseen the development of many different training curricula on prevention and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) in women, clients with co-occurring MH and SUD, Native Americans with SUD, and has led the development of two editions of the LGBTQ curriculum.

Kristina Padilla, MA, LAADC, ICAADC, CGS, is a leader with the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP), where she serves as the Vice President of Education and Strategic Development overseeing CCAPP’s education department. Additionally, she travels throughout California and the nation bringing addiction focused businesses together to promote the profession, increase access to services and improve the quality of substance use disorder service provision through education, business development, and investment in quality programming. Padilla has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She is a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LAADC), and an International Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (ICAADC).

Philip T. McCabe, CSW, CAS, CDVC, DRCC, is a health educator for Rutgers School of Public Health, and an adjunct instructor for Rutgers School of Nursing and School of Social Work. McCabe serves as the President on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies. Additionally, he serves as the Director of LGBTQ Community Engagement for the NJ DCF Violence Prevention Initiative.

Dana G. Finnegan, PhD, CAC, and Emily B. McNally, PhD, CAP, co-founded NALGAP: The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies in 1979. During the 1980s, they published the first NALGAP Facilities and Services Directory, the NALGAP Annotated Bibliography, and the NALGAP Newsletter to help others learn about the many important issues related to lesbian and gay male addiction and recovery. They taught courses at Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol and Drug Studies and provided workshops, seminars, and conference presentations on various topics related to sexual identity and recovery over the years. In 1987, they published Dual Identities: Counseling Chemically Dependent Gay Men and Lesbians, the first book about the transition of identity from illness and internalized homophobia to sober and proud. They participated in a government work group that met over a period of five years to publish in 2001 the first SAMSHA document, A Providers Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals. They wrote Counseling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Substance Abusers in 2002 to update and improve their earlier book. Finnegan and McNally have received many awards and recognition for their contributions to the LGBT community. They were especially proud to receive the NALGAP Founders Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award for their on-going interest in and advocacy for quality treatment for LGBT substance users. Finnegan is retired and has continued her interest in writing. She has published a memoir and a book about her great grandfather. McNally retired from the VA after 10 years and is working as a psychologist in a group private practice. They are married, have been together for 46 years, and enjoy living in a lesbian community in Florida.

Pamela E. Alexander, MSA, MUP, has had an incredible career in the human service field for 37 years. Her area of expertise has centered on substance use disorders, working with LGBTQ youth, families of color and juvenile justice and foster care youth. Alexander has held positions that included Deputy Director of the Ruth Ellis Center, a nationally recognized organization that focused on the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ homeless and at-risk young people. In her earlier years, she was an interim director of a major methadone clinic in Detroit, Michigan. Alexander has been credentialed at the state, national, and international level in addiction treatment services and she is a former board member of the National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and a past President of the Michigan Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors. She retired on June 30, 2020 and among her many awards throughout her career, she is most proud of being awarded the NALGAP Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2020.

Learning Objectives
  • Participants will describe why there is a need to address the special needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Participants will name three seminal events in the development of resources for LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Participants will be able to summarize current resources for working with LGBTQ+ individuals.
Content Level: Beginning
  • Beginning level courses introduce learners to a content area, include information about a condition, treatment method, or issue, and involve learning and comprehending content.

Polls and Q&A


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Who Should Attend

Addiction professionals, employee assistance professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, professional counselors, psychologists, and other helping professionals that are interested in learning about addiction-related matters. 


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