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Kimberly F. Balsam, Ph.D.

Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Kimberly F. Balsam, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, where she teaches and mentors students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and in the PGSP-Stanford Consortium Psy.D. program.  She is also the Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program ( and the Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR) (


Dr. Balsam received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Vermont in 2003 and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from University of Oregon in 1994.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington from 2003-2006 and was Research Assistant Professor in the UW School of Social Work from 2007-2012. Dr. Balsam was President of the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 from 2016-2017 and is currently active on the Division’s Science Committee.  She also recently served a three-year term on the Advisory Committee of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, where she spearheaded efforts for greater trans and nonbinary inclusion.  


Dr. Balsam’s research focuses broadly on the health and well-being of stigmatized populations, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse sexual and gender minority people.  She began research in this field in the 1990s and although her research interests have evolved, she is always most interested in giving voice to the concerns of the most marginalized people within LGBTQ+ communities through collaborative research design, data collection and dissemination.  She has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals in the field of psychology, as well as numerous book chapters and training materials. She is a widely sought-after speaker on topics related to LGBTQ issues and intersectionality.  She is particularly interested in community partnerships that can translate research into practice.


Dr. Balsam has been the PI on three NIH grants and numerous small research grants.  Most recently she completed research on an R01 grant from NICHD to conduct a 10 year longitudinal follow up study of same-gender and heterosexual couples previously surveyed in 2001-2 (R01HD069370, Longitudinal study of legal status, stigma, and well-being among diverse couples,  For the past four years, Dr. Balsam has been funded by Santa Clara County to develop, implement and evaluate a 40-hour intensive training on LGBTQ+ cultural competence for behavioral health clinicians working in the public sector.  To date, 90 clinicians have completed this LGBTQ+ Clinical Academy, with 28 more currently enrolled.


Dr. Balsam also has a 20-year history of clinical practice in a wide range of settings including community mental health, correctional, inpatient, and most recently private practice.  Her clinical interests include cognitive behavioral and ACT therapy with adults experiencing depression, anxiety and PTSD, and couples therapy with LGBTQ and heterosexual/cisgender couples.  

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