Kimberly  Balsam, PhD

Kimberly Balsam, PhD

Palo Alto University

Chair, Department of Psychology, Professor, Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis, Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR)

Expertise: community mental healthLGBTQ PsychologyTraumaDepressionAnxiety

Kimberly F. Balsam, Ph.D., 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 predoctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, WA from 2002-2003, 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’s research focuses broadly on the health and well-being of stigmatized populations, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and queer people. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals in the field of psychology.  She has also authored numerous book chapters related to LGBTQ psychology and is the editor of the 2004 book Trauma, stress, and resilience among sexual minority women: Rising like the Phoenix.  Dr. Balsam has been the principal investigator on grants funded by National Institutes of Health continuously since 2003.  Most recently, she was awarded an R01 grant from NICHD to conduct a 10 year longitudinal follow up study of same-sex and heterosexual couples previously surveyed in 2001-2 (R01HD069370, Longitudinal study of legal status, stigma, and well-being among diverse couples). CUPPLES Study. Current projects in collaboration with students include studies of Compassion Cultivation Training with LGBTQ adults, transgender and gender nonconforming parents, emotion and behavior among transgender and cisgender adults, and gender diversity/non-binary gender within LGBTQ communities.  Dr. Balsam supervises student research in the RISE (Research on Intersectional Sexual and gender minority Experiences) lab. RISE.

Dr. Balsam is Past President of APA’s Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) and is currently Co-Chair of the Division 44 Task Force on Racism. She is also a Fellow of this Division and was the 2010 recipient of their Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Her presidential columns detailing her activities during her presidential year, which focused on intersectionality, non-binary identities, mentoring, and dissemination can be found here

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 therapy with adults experiencing depression, anxiety, and PTSD and couples therapy with same-sex and heterosexual couples. 

At PAU, Dr. Balsam is Professor, Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis, and Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research. She teaches research methods and clinically-oriented courses in the Ph.D. program and psychopathology in the M.S. program.


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“[It] is crucial in combating stereotypes about same-sex couples and can inform policy and program development to support healthy relationships for all couples.”


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