Ashley Austin, PhD, LCSW


Ashley Austin, PhD, LCSW
Ashley Austin, PhD, LCSW Professor


  • Ph.D. Social Welfare, Florida International University, 2007
  • M.S.W. Florida International University, 1997
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Florida 1994

Areas of Interest

Dr. Ashley Austin is interested in promoting the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community through affirmative education, training, and practice. In particular, she devotes her research and clinical practice to advancing trauma informed affirmative approaches for supporting the growth and healing of transgender and nonbinary (TNB) children, youth, and adults.


Dr. Ashley Austin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Professor of Social Work and Distinguished Professor for the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice in Barry University’s School of Social Work. Dr. Austin’s teaching and student mentorship is rooted in a trauma informed perspective, as well as a firm commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and affirmation.  She strives to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment that cultivates critical thinking, open exploration of diverse perspectives, self-reflection, exploration of biases, and a thirst for knowledge. She deeply enjoys working with students at all phases of their educational journeys--BSW, MSW and Doctoral studies!

As a trauma informed researcher and practitioner, Dr. Austin is committed to research aimed at advancing LGBTQ+ affirmative practice.  She is the first author of multiple publications promoting behavioral health equity for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and adults.  In partnership, Dr. Austin and Dr. Shelley Craig from the University of Toronto, developed AFFIRM and AFFIRM Caregiver, evidence-based interventions aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ clients. AFFIRM interventions are being delivered to LGBTQ+ populations across the globe.  In collaboration with SSW students, faculty, and members of the TNB community Dr. Austin has been engaged in in participant-driven research centering the voices and experiences of TNB people. This research has resulted in publications and presentations which deepen understanding about gender dysphoria as well as raise awareness about the importance of gender affirmation and gender euphoria for the well-being of TNB adults.

Finally, Dr. Austin is a trauma responsive licensed clinical social worker and EMDR therapist devoted to providing affirmative interventions to TNB clients and their family members. Her clinical practice is increasingly driven by the science behind trauma and trauma recovery. As such, in addition to cognitive approaches, she integrates a wide range of mind-body healing strategies supported by neuroscience such as mindfulness, meditation, self-compassion, breath work, somatics, imagery, and expressive arts to support TNB clients of all ages.

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