ihi was founded in 1973 to fill an important need: providing affirmative professional mental health services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and to all persons stigmatized and labeled because their lifestyles may not conform to current social norms. After leading the successful struggle with the American Psychiatric Association to have homosexuality removed from the list of mental disorders, the founders of ihi recognized the need for a therapy center that could address people’s emotional problems while respecting and fostering their unique identity.
- Launched the fight to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders
- Introduced professional counseling by LGBTQ-affirmative therapists at a time when only peer counseling was available
- Trained hundreds of psychotherapists with the special skills necessary to work with LGBTQ clients and the community
- Developed Family Q, a free workshop and counseling program for LGBTQ parents and prospective parents
- Maintains a staff of authors and active researchers on issues pertaining to identity development, especially for persons who transcend traditional cultural limits. A sample of our current and former staff authors includes:
Robert McVey, LCSW, We Have a Pie
Suzanne Iasenza, Ph.D, Lesbians and Psychoanalysis
Charles Silverstein, Ph.D, The Joy of Gay Sex, For the Ferryman
Jack Drescher, MD, Psychoanalytic Theory and the Gay Man
Benet Hennessey M.A., Ed.M, LMHC - Executive Director
Tara Lombardo, M.A., MHC-LP - Associate Executive Director
Robert McVey, LCSW-R - Coordinator of Supervision, Clinical Coordinator
Jamie Klassel Weiner, M.A., MHC-LP - Outreach Coordinator
our friends and supporters
We are proud to say that many outstanding therapists working in the field today were schooled at ihi. Perhaps the most famous of our alumni is Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who was trained by our founder, Dr. Charles Silverstein, prolific author in the field of LGBTQ studies.
Below is our list of eminent sponsors who affirm ihi's reputation, the viability of its mission, and the relevance of the services it provides.
- Charles Busch, playwright and actor
- Blanche Wiesen Cook, Ph.D, historian
- Clare Coss, playwright
- Martin Duberman, Ph.D, founder of the City University Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies
- Edmund White, novelist