EDGY Conference

Jen Rivers
Jen Rivers
Jen Rivers
Jen Rivers, (she/her/hers), BA, MSW, ASW, began her social work career volunteering with the Los Angeles LGBT Center working on outreach, phone banks, and campaigns for legislation(s). She has worked on several campaigns, such as SB-219 - Long-term care facilities: rights of residents, SB-918 - Homeless Youth Act of 2018, and AB-2119 - Foster care: gender affirming health care and mental health care. She also lobbied for $17.5 million in funding to create the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women’s Health Equity Fund, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. Most recently, she authored the beginning of what turned into SB 923 - TGI Inclusive Care Act, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021. She currently works with clients in the private practice setting conducting individual therapy and group therapy. She is passionate about LGBTQIA+ clinical care, policy, social justice, activism, and research.


OCD in LGBTQIA+ youth; A look at the differences between obsessive compulsive disorder, rumination, and healthy identity questioning and formation
Any LGBTQIA+ identity, where one feels different, or worse, unaccepted, is at significant risk for mental health concerns. But those concerns don’t only apply to anxiety and depression. Research also indicates that obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms can be prevalent in LGBTQIA+ youth. Given the stigma that LGBTQIA+ youth face in society, researchers believe these obsessions are more likely to develop when stigma is greater (i.e. families that are not supportive). Thus, we can presumably connect increased mental health conditions, including OCD, to stigma from the rise of anti-gay and anti-trans legislation, among the other hateful, discriminatory LGBTQIA+ legislation in (mainly) red states. This presentation is not to pathologize LGBTQIA+ youth and adults with OCD. Rather, we will highlight what OCD is, understand different subsets of OCD, i.e. SO-OCD (sexual orientation OCD) and gender OCD, how it may present in clients, and differentiate between healthy identity formation, obsessive compulsive ruminations, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Presenter will also touch on the most effective evidence-based practices to work with OCD in LGBTQIA+ youth.