Remote LGBTIQA+ Mental Health Practice in New Jersey

We serve the LGBTIQA community of New Jersey

The Gender and Sexuality Counseling Center of NJ is a remote LGBT+ affirming mental health practice that provides psychotherapy and counseling services, as well as information on resources for the Queer community. 

GSCC Photo Gallery (21)

LGBTIQA Specialized Therapists

Here's what we can help you with.

At GSCC NJ, we’re here to help LGBTIQA+ affirming individuals & couples, families, and POC. We also offer BDSM/kink-affirming therapy, and polyamory-informed and welcoming therapy.  

We link all of our clients to highly-qualified therapists whose goal is to help them feel safe and understood, while also attempting to increase accessibility to affirming and supportive care in our community. 

LGBTIQA Specialized Therapists

Personalized to you.

We foster a safe environment where our clients can be themselves without the fear of being judged for who they are. 

Sessions with a specially-assigned therapist and customized program will allow clients to explore new ways of coping with life stressors, and provide the ability to feel seen and understood.

GSCC Photo Gallery (23)

We're here to guide you.

Gender & Sexuality Counseling Center Team

Meet Our Team

Samantha Smith Photo

Samantha J. Smith (She/Her)

Owner & Clinical Director, Therapist, LCSW

Samantha received her training and Masters degree in Clinical Social Work at Fordham University.  She obtained her License in Clinical Social work and has been in private practice independently since 2017.  

Samantha has been working with LGBT+ clients for the better part of a decade and as a member of the community herself, she realized very quickly that there was a great lack of LGBT+ affirming mental health services for the community.  It became her passion and goal to create a group practice where every single clinician is affirming and educated about the LGBT+ population, some have lived experience as queer individuals, and all are able to walk clients through struggles while providing only the best service to them just as they deserve.  

In addition to owning and directing GSCC NJ, Samantha teaches a course on Gender Theory at the college level and offers consulting to other healthcare practices who wish to become more knowledgeable about providing affirming services to the queer community.  Samantha continues to attend trainings for best practices with the LGBT+ population in order to best serve her clients and train GSCC’s clinicians. In practice with her own clients, Samantha is known to be incredibly compassionate and utilizes a variety of modalities including EMDR, CBT, Parts Therapy, and just like all of the clinicians at GSCC NJ she is kink/poly and BDSM affirming and knowledgeable.


Amanda Aversa (She/Her)

Practice Manager

Amanda may likely be the very first interaction you have with GSCC NJ, and the practice is much better served with her on board.

Amanda completes the intake and assignment of all our new clients, matches them to the best therapist and coordinates scheduling and much more. As a part of the community herself, Amanda is passionate about helping the clients who contact GSCC NJ connect with the care they need. There is frankly no better person for the job!

Amanda can be reached for scheduling your first session at


Ace Wilson (He/Him)

Therapist, LSW

Ace graduated with a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work after changing careers and deciding to follow his passion for mental health work with the LGBT+ community. Ace went on to obtain his license in social work and is now working toward his clinical license with GSCC NJ.

As a part of the queer community himself, Ace can provide the unique lens of lived experience to his clients which allows him to relate on a deeper level. Ace has a great deal of experience working with teens and young adults in the LGBT+ community and is specifically well versed at guiding Transgender/NBNC (non-binary/non-conforming) clients through social and medical transitions. Ace utilizes a strengths-based approach that fosters the innate skills of each individual client. With his approach, you can work together to discuss/discover solutions to issues in any aspect of your life where you need assistance and support.


Daniella Delgado Ginyard (She/Her)

Therapist, LSW

Daniella earned a Master’s degree for Social Work in Spanish at Fordham University. Daniella went on to obtain her License in Social work and is continuing to work toward her Clinical license in Social work with GSCC NJ.

Daniella is fluent in Spanish and therefore assists GSCC NJ in serving the Spanish-speaking LGBT+ community. Daniella is also versed in working with those who struggle with addiction. As a member of the queer community herself, Daniella is passionate about working with LGBT+ individuals and brings a unique scope to her practice of having lived experiences. Daniella’s strengths-based approach combines cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, solution-focused techniques and holistic ways to treat your entire being including mind, body, and spirit. Her approach also embraces a positive view of queer identities and relationships while addressing the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of the LGBTQ community.

Together with her clients, Daniella works to identify, process, and resolve the challenges that concern you.


Sarah E. Skrocki (She/Her)

Therapist, LSW

Sarah received a Master’s degree in International and Community Development in Social Work from Monmouth University. Sarah then went on to obtain her License in Social Work and continues to work toward her Clinical licensure with GSCC NJ.

As a member of the LGBT+ community herself, Sarah offers the compassion of someone who knows how they want to be treated by a therapist. Sarah is here to help you face those challenges head-on with warmth, support, and humor. As your therapist, her goal is to provide a safe space to be your authentic self in every way possible. She uses a strengths-based perspective that honors the inherent dignity and worth of her clients.

Sarah believes you have the tools to be successful and she is here to help you utilize them to the best of your abilities.


Stacy Ward (She/Her)

Therapist, LCSW
Stacy received her Masters Degree in Social Work with a concentration of Cultural Competency from Stockton University in 2016.  Since then, Stacy has held various clinical positions and obtained Licensure as a Clinical Social Worker.  Stacy holds a specific interest in working with the Queer community. 
Stacy believes that life is full of ups and downs. She is here to help you navigate the challenges that you may be facing with compassion, understanding, and of course, some humor. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she understands the challenges of finding and becoming yourself. She uses a strengths based perspective and will tailor her clinical approach on what you need to reach your goals. You have all the answers that you need, she believes she is just a guide to help you find what you seek.
correctedbiopic (1)

Kristen Failla, M.A. (She/Her)


Kristen earned a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Kean University and is currently working towards full licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy with GSCC NJ. 

Kristen has experience with individual, family, and couple therapy and she is particularly passionate about working with the LGBTIQA+ and disability communities.

As a systemic therapist, Kristen’s goal is to provide an inclusive environment where individuals can be heard, validated, and empathized with as they identify and express emotions, process trauma, and navigate the relationships within their life. Kristen’s strength-based approach combines Structural Family Therapy and aspects of Solution Focused Therapy to support clients in creating boundaries for themselves and within relationships as well as reframing concerns and experiences in a way that is helpful to them.

Kristen strongly believes that individuals have the resources within them to get to where they strive to be in life and she is happy to provide guidance and support along the way.


Leah Cunningham, LSW (She/Her)

Therapist, LSW

Leah Cunningham obtained a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and is a licensed social worker in New Jersey. She has dedicated her career to giving back the compassionate care she has received over the years from the assistance of her own therapy. Leah uses a range of tools that help with mindfulness, self-acceptance, and processing feelings in a safe and empathetic space. Leah specializes in working with adults and seniors who struggle with anxiety, trauma, difficult life transitions, relationship challenges, and mood disorders. She is deeply committed to providing informed and empathetic services to the LGBTQ+, kink, and poly communities and welcomes all who have ever felt different, excluded, or alone in their identity or orientation.


Melissa Delizia, LSW (she/they)

Therapist, LSW

Melissa is a doctoral student studying human rights leadership in social work, with extensive trainings in trauma-informed care, Jungian archetypes, mindfulness and meditation, holy fire and usui reiki, trauma-focused yoga, creating trans inclusive spaces and death doula work. She has presented and run trainings on the needs of the LGBTQ+ population in mental health spaces and has 6+ years experience working in clinical settings as a therapist.

Bryce LSW Headshot for Web - GSCC

Bryce Henderson, LSW (he/him)

Therapist, LSW

Bryce graduated with his master’s in social work from Fordham University and hopes to finish up his master’s in Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill soon.

Bryce previously worked in gender affirming health care for 7 years before shifting his focus to mental health. He has experience working with depression, PTSD, life transitions, grief, and gender related imposter syndrome. His approach can be best described as empathetic, patient, humanistic, compassionate, and strengths-based.


Laura Hanon, LAC (She/Her)

Licensed Associate Counselor

Laura received her Masters in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from Rutgers University and is a Licensed Associate Counselor in NJ. Being a proud member of the queer community herself, Laura is deeply passionate about providing services to individuals from all walks of life; inclusive and celebratory of all body types, gender expression and sexuality.

Laura’s approach to counseling is rooted in mindfulness, self-compassion, and internal motivation. She empowers her clients to become their best advocates and supports them in embracing their unique selves. Having experience in assisting clients facing substance use challenges, Laura employs motivational interviewing and goal setting to establish a safe and welcoming environment.

Through this approach, clients gain a deeper understanding of their situations and develop the tools to overcome barriers. Laura’s ultimate goal is to strengthen her community through her services. Together, she and her clients build a fulfilling life that they can be proud of. Life is hard, therapy doesn’t have to be.

Nicole Headshot-crop

Nicole Piro, LSW (She/Her)

Therapist, LSW

Nicole obtained her Master’s degree for social work at Adelphi University. Nicole continued on to get her License in social work in New York and later acquired her social work license in New Jersey as well.

Nicole has experience working with children, adolescents and adults in diverse settings with the utilization of different modalities of care. She is versed in dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused treatment as well as trauma informed care, with a holistic approaches to address a person’s whole self.

Nicole is always aiming to support people in a safe accepting space, embracing individuality and diversity. She is passionate about helping the LGBTQA+ community by assisting individuals to thrive through empowerment, empathy and personal growth. 

Kelly Martins, LSW (She/Her/Hers)

Therapist, LSW
Headshot - Cropped (1)

Kelly Martins (she/her) obtained her Master’s degree at Rutgers University and has provided social services for the HIV+ and LGBTQ+ community for over 7+ years. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+, Kelly is passionate in providing high quality, gender-affirming counseling for marginalized and underserved people. Kelly‘s approach is rooted in gentle empathy, using a strength-based perspective, she creates a safe and brave space for individuals to be their most authentic self. Kelly welcomes the opportunity to work with adults and young adults experiencing life changes worthy of sorting through openly through a platform of love and kindness.

Ready to schedule your first appointment?

You can reach our Practice Manager, Amanda at if you have questions about any of the clinicians or wish to make your first appointment. 

GSCC Photo Gallery (22)

Learn About Our Approach

What sets us apart

GSCC NJ is different from other counseling centers because all of our clinicians are LGBT+/Queer affirming and knowledgeable in the best practices for the community.  

All of our clinicians are also affirming with the Poly/Kink and BDSM communities.  GSCC NJ is also unique in that they work with insurance companies as well as work with sliding scale fees to increase access to mental health care for underserved populations. 

LGBTIQA Specialized Therapists

Getting started with GSCC

From your first contact to our admin Amanda, to your therapist, our entire practice is dedicated to being free from Homophobia and Transphobia and you can feel safe with us all along the way.  All of our therapists understand how to provide medical transition related letters by WPATH standards, and we do not have a minimum session requirement or additional fees to do so. 

GSCC Photo Gallery (24)


Our most commonly-asked questions.

What is the process for getting started?

 If you have any questions or wish to become a new client, you can reach us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  We are always happy to help guide you through the process of finding the right therapist for you! 

Does GSCC do consultations?

GSCC NJ provides 10-15 phone consultations with our therapists by request and of no cost to you.  This allows you to get a feel for the therapist, ask questions, and see if they may be a fit for what you need.

How long are sessions?

Sessions at GSCC NJ run from 37-60 minutes, depending on payer source and insurance mandates.  Clients always have the option to pay individually for additional sessions with collaboration with their therapist as they desire. 

What kind of insurance, if any, does GSCC accept?

GSCC NJ is contracted with Cigna, United Healthcare, and Blue Cross/Blue shield. Additionally, we help clients navigate using their out of network benefits to receive reimbursement from their plan. To check if an individual therapist is contracted with your insurance, contact us at