Cadyn Cathers, PsyD, MBA

Cadyn Cathers, PsyD wearing a blue button down shirt in front of a brick wall. Cadyn is a licensed psychologists in Los Angeles, CA and the CEO of the Affirmative Couch.

Name: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD, MBA

Pronouns: he/his/him

Position: Chief Executive Officer

Identities: genderful transgender man, ambiamorous, bisexual, Polish American, neurodivergent, disabled

Language(s) Spoken: English, Polish

License: Licensed Psychologist (California) PSY 32839

Courses Taught at The Affirmative Couch:

Ethical Implications of Informed Consent for Mental Health Professionals (4 CEs) – Available as Homestudy

Affirmative Supervision: Becoming Deliberately Developmental (6 CEs) -Available as Homestudy

From Gender Dysphoria to Gender Euphoria (3 CEs) – Available as Homestudy

Suicide Prevention in LGBTQIA+ Clients (6 CEs) – Available as Homestudy

WPATH Standards of Care 8 for Mental Health Professionals (2 CEs) – Available as Homestudy

Fundamentals of LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy (2 CES) – Available as Homestudy

Working Alliance with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Clients (2 CEs) – Available as Homestudy 

Psychological Preparation for Medical Transition (12 CEs) – Available as Homestudy

Transference/Countertransference Dynamics with LGBTQIA+ Clients (4 CEs) – Not available as a homestudy

Identity Development around Sexuality, Gender, and Relationships (5 CEs) – Available as Homestudy


Get to know Dr. Cadyn:

Cadyn Cathers, PsyD, MBA (he/him/his) has been teaching courses on human sexuality, psychotherapy with LGBTQIA+ communities, and psychodynamic theory for over 10 years He is the founder and CEO of The Affirmative Couch, which provides online continuing education on clinical work with LGBTQIA+, CNM, and kink communities. He is a licensed psychologist in private practice at the Out Couch Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, P.C., where he focuses on psychoanalytic psychotherapy with transgender and nonbinary patients. Additionally, he serves as adjunct faculty at Antioch University Los Angeles, Reiss-Davis Graduate School, and Cal State University Los Angeles. 


MBA, Leadership and Teams (Dec 2023) Antioch University Online

PsyD, Applied Clinical Psychology (August 2019) The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

MA, Clinical Psychology, LGBT Specialization & Health Psychology Concentration (March 2011) Antioch University Los Angeles

BS, Biology (December 2005) Santa Clara University


Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2014) Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis


Cathers, C. & Sullivan, S. (2022). Developmental approaches for clinical work with CNM individuals. In Burnes, T. & M. Vaughan. The Handbook of CNM Clinical Practice. Rowman & Littlefield.

Cathers, C. (2020). Rose is so much sweeter: Navigating the name change process with transgender and gender non-conforming clients. In J. S. Whitman & C. J. Boyd (Eds.), The Therapist’s Notebook for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients: Homework, Handouts, and Activities for Use in Psychotherapy. New York: Haworth Clinical Practice Press.

Cathers, C. (2019). The therapeutic alliance between transgender or gender nonbinary patients and cisgender therapists (13860387). [Doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology] ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Cathers, C. (2018). An introduction to gender confirming surgeries. The Los Angeles Psychologist. 32(2). Pp. 8-9

Cathers, C., Carter, C. & Landon, S. (2017). Teaching LGBT psychology in community settings. In J. Stanley and T. Burnes (Ed.), Teaching LGBTQ Psychology: Queering Innovative Pedagogy and Practice. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association. 

Cathers, C. (2011). The intersection of mental and physical health: The effects of psychological factors on obesity in lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Antioch University Los Angeles. 

Manuscripts in Preparation

Cathers, C. (in progress). Navigating gender confirming surgeries with transgender and gender nonbinary patients. 

Cathers, C. (in progress). The therapist’s transition: Reconfiguration of the relationship dynamics, body, and mind. 

My Professional Journey

My journey to becoming an advocate, educator, and a clinician has definitely been a windy path. Now my career involves the blending together of these parts of me. My teaching informs my clinical and consulting work. My clinical work informs my teaching and consulting. I publish chapters and articles on these topics. I’m published in Teaching LGBT Psychology: Queering Pedagogy & Practice (Stanley & Burns, Eds. 2017) and in the upcoming book The Handbook of CNM Clinical Practice (Burnes & Vaughan, in press). My advocacy is entwined in all the work I do. 

My journey with advocacy

 I’ve always been an advocate, but my focus has shifted somewhat over the years. When I was a child, I wanted to be an environmental scientist. I wanted to save the world through ensuring that food was sustainable and not polluting the environment. In college, I studied biology and many of my courses were focused in environmental science, math, and chemistry. After graduation, I went on to a PhD program in environmental toxicology at UC Riverside, which I didn’t complete. While I was there, I came out as transgender. UCR is known for being an LGBTQIA+ friendly campus and furthered my interest in social justice. As my career and education has continued, I have shifted to advocating around LGBT rights and mental health.

My journey as a clinician

My journey towards becoming a clinician was highly influenced by my experiences and education in biology. I became interested in how toxic messages around sexuality, around gender, around different relationship structures around identity can get internalized and bioaccumulate, much like some toxins in our environment. I decided to drop out of my PhD program in environmental toxicology and go to Antioch University Los Angeles to the LGBT specialization and and get a master’s in clinical psychology. As I was in my training, I started my own psychoanalysis which was transformative in both my personal and professional lives. I continued my education to get a PsyD in applied clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a 1-year certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from The Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. I became a licensed psychologist in 2021 and started my own private practice, Out Couch Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, P.C.

My journey as an educator

My journey towards becoming an educator started as soon as I started college at Notre Dame de Namur University. When I started my bachelor’s degree, we had to do a math placement test. I scored high enough that as a freshman first quarter freshman, they hired me to be a teaching assistant for college algebra. I really enjoyed working with students to help them have that “lightbulb moment” and finally figure out something that had been difficult for them. From there, I transferred to Santa Clara University, where I was a peer educator in biology and tutor in General Chemistry I, II, and III. After I graduated from the MA in clinical psychology program, I was hired to teach Sex Therapy for Marriage and Family Therapists at Alliant International University in their couples and family therapy program in Fall 2011. Antioch University Los Angeles hired me in Summer 2012 later to start as adjunct faculty. In Summer 2020, I was promoted to full time teaching faculty. I teach a wide range of classes from Process of Interpersonal Psychotherapy I and II, Personality I: Psychodynamic Theories, LGBT Clinical Issues & Psychological Wellness across the Lifespan, Therapeutic Process with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Patients, Intersex Clients: Biomedical, Ethical, and Psychological Considerations, Melanie Klein: Object Relations for Relational Therapies, Clinical Applications of Winnicott’s Thinking, and Working with LGBTQIA+ Clients: Theoretical Applications. I was hired as affiliate faculty in the LGBT Specialization in Fall 2012. Mount Saint Mary’s University hired me to each Counseling Theories in Fall 2016, but since then have expanded to teaching Psychopharmacology and Applying Research to Practice. In Summer 2021, I was hired by Reiss-Davis Graduate School to teach Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychological Research Designs.

My journey as an entrepreneur

As a professor at multiple universities, I saw how limited the graduate level training on working with sexuality and gender was. I attended continuing education on clinical work with transgender and nonbinary people, but often found myself wanting more. Another training on pronouns? This is what inspired me to start The Affirmative Couch, LLC in 2018. To help in my organizational consulting and program development, I enrolled in Antioch University Online’s MBA program with an emphasis in leadership and teams in 2021 and graduated in 2023.