Lydia Shontz (she/they) graduated from Washburn University’s master’s program in clinical psychology, located in Topeka, KS in 2023. During her studies, Lydia’s research focused on the negative impacts of emotional invalidation and cumulative minority stress. Additionally, Lydia was involved in several innovative clinical programs at their university, including the development and facilitation of novel integrated affirmative-care therapy protocols for queer students. Lydia is also trained in assessments within the World Professional Association for Trans Health (WPATH) Standards of Care (SOC), such as Psychosocial Readiness Screenings for Gender-Affirming Medical Care (GAMC). In addition to her research efforts, Lydia aspires to address mental health disparities among sex and gender minority populations within their community by improving access to affordable affirmative mental health services. In her free time, Lydia enjoys spending time in her neighborhood, attending local music shows, visiting the farmer’s market, or watching horror movies with her partner and her cats at home.