Mental Health

Dating and LGBTQ Youth

Gregory Canillas

Gregory Canillas

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Workshop Session #2

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

The workshop will focus on the current trends in dating in the digital age for adolescents identifying as LGBTQ. The presenter will explore the current trends in online “matchmaking” (e.g., dating vs. “hook up” sites) that are available to LGBTQ adolescents who are looking for dating, companionship and/or love. The presentation will also explore common issues that may arise in therapy for individuals who are dating. For example, clients who are actively looking for relationships often will explore family of origin issues in therapy (e.g., the impact of their parents relationship on their beliefs about dating & marriage, establishing a family, “hooking up”). The presenter will use case vignette examples to stimulate discussion, and highlight possible treatment strategies to explore with clients in treatment who are exploring dating issues. Future research areas of exploration will also be highlighted.


With a double major in Psychology and American History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Canillas is currently an Associate Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles). He is also on the faculty at Pepperdine University and National University. Dr. Canillas is a frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences on LGBTQ issues, foster care, domestic trafficking of children, relationship issues, intimate partner violence, substance abuse, psychological treatment, and ethnic minority populations. He currently serves a member of the American Psychological Association’s Joint Task Force to Revise the Professional Practice Guidelines for Working with LGB Clients. Dr. Canillas has also served as a Program Director at several nonprofit organizations, overseeing the child and adult therapy programs and pregnant/parenting teen programs. Dr. Canillas has also served as a Children's Social Worker with the Department of Children and Family Services, as a Clinical Psychologist with the Department of Mental Health, and later as the Clinical Director of a family preservation program. He currently serves on the Commission on Youth and Families (Long Beach, California), a body that advises the Mayor and city council on issues of importance to children, adolescents, and families in that city.