If you're looking for a gay therapist

...and you're living with challenges such as:

  • Anxiety, including panic attacks, and depression
  • Stress
  • Low self-esteem
  • An unsatisfying relationship
  • Drugs/alcohol or other troubling activity – including crystal meth, the Internet, etc.
  • Coming out issues

…I provide a specific kind of therapy that’s designed to help you overcome these and other challenges. My entire focus is on helping you to achieve the goals that you'd like to achieve, so that you lead a more satisfied life, have more peace of mind, and enjoy more gratifying relationships.

This is only one way that therapy is helpful. Therapy is also like putting a puzzle together. The pieces are there, and my role is to help you put them together – that is, to make sense of what’s going on. I can help you to gain insight into your motivations, accept yourself more, and achieve personal growth.

Reasons to see a gay psychotherapist

If you’re LGBT, it’s often helpful to see a gay counselor because the person can better relate to your experiences. For example, a gay therapist knows what it’s like to come to terms with his or her sexual orientation. Plus, s/he knows that although being in a same-sex couple is similar to being in a heterosexual one, straight people don’t have to deal with situations such as:

  • What if you want to show affection in public but your partner isn’t comfortable?
  • What if you’re negative and want to date someone who’s HIV-positive (or vice-versa)?
  • What if your partner’s family doesn’t know, and you’re growing impatient?

Also, the problems you’re experiencing might have nothing to do with being LGBT lesbian, but it does have a bearing on your decisions. For instance:

  • What if your boss or co-workers aren’t queer-friendly?
  • What if you want to move to a part of the city where few queer people live?
  • What do you do if you’re having a commitment ceremony and you’ve got some homophobic relatives?

It’s more comfortable and reassuring to know that your therapist will understand terms, social norms, and sexual issues related to being gay that you might have to explain otherwise.

Qualifications

Many of us understand the value of having a therapist we can connect with and who helps us to deal with our challenges. I began my career interning at a LGBT community center in 1992. After obtaining a Ph.D., I began a private practice. While having to deal with many issues related to growing up as a gay man, my education and clinical experience deepened my understanding of the challenges related to being out in our culture.

I have worked in community mental health setting as well as in private practice for many years, most recently as clinic director for a non-profit organization that focused on the homeless and battered women and their children. Prior to that, I was the clinic director of a research and recovery center for men addicted to crystal meth.

I have worked with many sexual minority clients through the years, and my position is affirmative. Part of that approach is explained in a book that I wrote for fellow therapists (see the next section), and it was born out of a workshop that I helped develop and present that was geared toward heterosexual mental health clinicians. In brief, being affirmative means that same-sex and opposite-sex couples have equal worth, it's not OK for a therapist to assume that any problem you're having is related to your sexual orientation (unless you say otherwise), and most of the problems that LGBT people have with being LGB or T has to do with societal oppression and not sexual orientation or gender.

Publications - Books

When I gained more experience, I wrote two books. One is called Affirmative Psychotherapy and Counseling for Gay Men and Lesbians. Many therapists have used it as a reference guide and university professors offer it as a reading for classes. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists recommended it for their Online Certification Program.

The second book is Get Closer: A Gay Men’s Guide to Intimacy and Relationships. It’s a practical guide to help people be a committed couple.

Here are a couple of reviews from Amazon.com

Excellent Book!!! This book gave my partner and I the opportunity to learn about our relationship as well as ourselves….SO RECOMMENDED…Thanks and ENJOY!!Michael, December 2013

Best gay relationship book I've ever read.Zhpassagio, November 2011

Publications - Articles

In addition to writing the books, I have also written several articles. Topics range from depression and anxiety to stress management to finding a good therapist.

Finally, I have supervised several therapists who were gaining their hours for license and have led several workshops and taught several college courses, including:

  • Masters level courses on psychotherapy and counseling at Antioch University
  • The LGBT Experience course at Chapman University
  • Workshops at The LA LGBT Center
  • Drug abuse/treatment and domestic violence workshops through UCLA
  • LGBT youth and coming out seminar for the LA Unified school district
  • Other workshops presented for the general public include intimacy and challenges related to being in a couple, relapse prevention, grief and loss, stress management and conflict resolution

If you'd like to see about seeing if we'd be a good fit, please fill out a contact form to make an appointment or, call 323-692-7781.

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