Specializing in Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Life/Career Coaching for Gay Men – Individuals and Couples – 23 Years
(If you have an upcoming appointment and yout just need a map/directions to my office, click here: map/directions)
People ask me sometimes why I do what I do. As an openly gay (and openly HIV-positive, 25 years), licensed psychotherapist, the answer is easy: It's my passion.
I could have made a living many other ways, or I could have been a therapist who focuses on something else. But that's not what I wanted. Ever since the days before I went to graduate school, I've wanted to work with gay men, and support their mental health and well-being. For the past 23 years of practice in many professional settings, I've done just that. And I'm very happy doing it.
When I started graduate school, I wanted (and did) an internship at the LA LGBT Center's Mental Health Department. My advisor at school wanted me to intern at another facility that I didn't have much interest in, just to gain some "breadth". But I said no. My internship advisor replied, as she pursed her lips, "Well. You're going to be a very narrow person." I always resented that. In the 23 years I've been doing therapy (and coaching) with gay men, I'd say I was anything but "narrow". I've seen a broad range of individuals and couples, from all different ages, races, shapes, sizes, nationalities, personalities, problems, talents, points of view, perspectives, minds and hearts. It has thrilled me, challenged me, fascinated me, and enthralled me. But most of all, it has honored me to have the privilege of the opportunity to serve the therapy and coaching needs of gay men, to support your success in both your personal and professional life goals. That passion that I always wanted to do, continues to this day. I feel honored and grateful that I get the opportunity, every day, to use my skills, training, and experience in therapy and coaching to help you achieve your dreams, as I have achieved many of mine.
(For more information right away, fill out the "pop-up" form here on my website, or call/text my cell 310-339-5778 or my office voicemail at 310-726-4357, to schedule your no-charge, 15-minute phone consultation. Let me know the best times to call you back, so we can talk and see if we will be a good match. If you don't have privacy to talk when I call back, let me know when you can speak privately. You can also email me at Ken@GayTherapyLA.com.)
I became a therapist because I was a young man who came of age in the mid-80's, when the AIDS crisis was really intensifying. I felt like I was too old to start training to be an MD, but I wanted to do something in the fight against the AIDS epidemic, and how it was devastating the gay community. So instead of helping guys as a physician, I wanted to help my gay (and/or poz) brothers in another way, that better suited my aptitudes. After my own diagnosis with HIV in 1990, part of giving my life meaning then was to help other guys with their lives. So I devoted myself to being a mental health professional, and got my Master's in clinical social work at USC, and then got licensed to practice.
I worked first in AIDS non-profit organizations, and then opened my own private practice office. As the crisis of AIDS began to abate with better treatment in the mid-90's, I branced out to serve other needs of gay men. I've helped with mood, relationships, careers, finances, and life events.
At times, it's been challenging to meet the demands of running a practice (and writing, and speaking, and teaching), but what always gets me through is my commitment and my passion to help and support the community of my gay brothers. That's the passion that you get when you work with me; you know that you're working with someone who really wants to be there for you. I couldn't think of a better job. I feel honored and privileged that you would consider letting me help you, with whatever your current challenges are. So…what is the job that I can do for you? Let's talk about that:
Are you struggling with a current challenge in your personal or work life?
Are you ready to get some help, and work to resolve what's bothering you?
Do you find yourself…
- Feeling sad, isolated, or hopeless?
- Needing guidance on how to have the career you love, and earn good money?
- Worried about how to handle getting older?
- Scared that your drinking, using, or anger is getting out of control?
- Craving more or better sex?
- Trying to heal from loss, such as a breakup or the death of a loved one?
- Overwhelmed trying to manage stresss at work or at home?
- Feeling haunted by the memories of an abusive childhood?
- Anxious about making an important decision?
- Coping with a serious medical diagnosis?
- Curious about questions around PrEP, HIV, or STD's, but not sure who to talk to?
- Concerned that alcohol or drug use for someone close to you has gotten out of hand?
- Tired of drama and conflict with your boyfriend/partner/spouse, boss, or parent?
- Frustrated or angry about being discriminated against at work, and not sure how to respond to it?
Life's challenges can sometimes leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
It can be hard for gay men to find a qualified, licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping gay men (and gay male couples) face problems in a gay-affirmative context. There is a feeling of being understood that gay clients want that they can't get from a "gay-friendly" straight therapist, or even a gay therapist who doesn't focus on other gay men's needs. It's natural that many guys simply want a gay male therapist who is a committed specialist in working with gay men, almost exclusively, who has a deep and specialized expertise; someone who really "gets you", right from the start. It saves you time and money in the long run to work with someone whose expertise matches your situation; someone who has helped guys like you resolve the same problems you have now, many times before.
The one constant in life is change. Managing your life, building a career, developing satisfying relationships, and taking care of your emotional and physical health are things to strive for, to bring you a sense of meaning, purpose, and contentment to your life. Therapy and coaching with the right person can help you with all of these.
Sometimes life doesn't work out as planned, and you’re faced with feeling like you’re doing it all by yourself.
Maybe you're trying to handle a life challenge, but you're feeling confused on what to do next. You may have trouble falling asleep over it, or you may have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe you feel anxious and worried about the future, and how these problems are going to work out. You could be having conflicts with people, including others you care about. Maybe you’re sad and frustrated because you feel stuck on how to handle things.
Therapy, counseling, and coaching can help you solve these kinds of problems, and live the good life you deserve.
Sometimes, loving yourself and managing your life means asking for help, and when you ask, I'm here to provide it.
During hard times, a caring professional can help you see your problems from a different point of view, gain new insights, and teach you new ways of dealing with your challenges that bring you faster resolutions.
(click on each phrase in blue, below (not the photo) for more information on the various services I provide)
Testimonials from people who have worked with me:
“Ken is a consummate professional, combining the best in common sense, practical business coaching, and a solid grounding in evidence-based psychotherapy. There are few of his ilk. I have become a better and more secure manager of my own life with his help. I recommend him to friends, particularly gay professionals who seek improved personal and interpersonal skills and business acumen. Ken wears both hats with considerable skill and warmth.” — K.E., gay male corporate CEO
“Ken is bright and motivated, and a real professional. He has built a great reputation and practice through community involvement and smart marketing, but most of all through the high quality of service that he provides.” –S.R., gay male business consultant
“I have worked with Ken for many years and find his work to be the utmost in professionalism and compassion. His work within the Los Angeles community, especially that of the LGBT community, is the hallmark of dedication. While working with Ken on many community panels, including the Los Angeles County HIV Mental Health Task Force, he has always provided a intelligence, empathy, and commitment to colleagues and clients alike. I would highly recommend him as a therapist, or in any professional endeavors.” – JL, gay male therapist
I am trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches that can help you overcome your problems. These include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy — to help you identify new thoughts and behaviors;
Existential Psychology — to help you identify joy and meaning for now and your future;
Developmental Psychology — to understand your current situation in the context of a healthy and satisfying life span;
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT);
as well as special training in anger management, assertive communication, building self-esteem, and the skills of having a relationship. All of my techniques are considered “evidence-based”, which means they have been studied in research and are known to produce positive treatment outcomes.
Being in Los Angeles, I often work with creative professionals, such as writers, actors, designers, singers, and models, helping them deal with being self-employed, facing rejection, learning to market themselves, and overcoming creative blocks. For some high-profile individuals, I help them cope with their own success, which is a "nice problem to have", but it can be its own challenge.
I am also on the faculty of the USC School of Social Work, where I teach a course in advanced clinical practice in the graduate MSW (Master of Social Work) program, with the latest research and techniques for helping people solve problems today.
As a result of our work together, you can:
- Manage or overcome problems such as depression, anxiety, ADD, OCD, or addictions.
- Forgive yourself and others, and achieve peace of mind.
- Love yourself again.
- Strengthen your self-esteem and reclaim your personal dignity.
- Liberate yourself from the burden of addictions.
- Cope with a diagnosis of HIV or another medical challenge, and learn to thrive.
- Establish your unique roles, professionally and personally.
- Discover new strategies for coping with life’s challenges that you can use today for current problems, and for all future challenges in your life.
- Build your self-confidence to take the steps you need to take your life to a higher level of peace and fulfillment.
- Learn techniques for managing emotions like anger, sadness, frustration, and even learn to cope with success in the long term.
- Improve your ability to identify and evaluate your options, so that you make better decisions in all areas of your life.
- Learn how to communicate your needs assertively to get what you want, while still respecting the rights of others.
- Improve communications with everyone you come in contact with, to improve relationships with a partner/spouse, roommate, co-worker, family member, or friends.
Working to improve yourself can be scary, but also exciting and ultimately profoundly personally fulfilling.
“Ken is a true asset to any dynamic in which he participates. When working with Ken, I find it to be a positive collaboration with an exchange of substantive ideas. He is very perceptive and has a gift for articulating nuances and finding ways to guide you in a nurturing and intelligent way.” – CL, certified financial planner
“I've worked with Ken Howard, LCSW, in the HIV community in Los Angeles. He's one of the most astute therapists I know here in L.A. in regards to the lives of gay men and people with HIV.” – TV, gay community activist and author
“Ken has participated as a panelist at a number of City of West Hollywood events including a community forum addressing issues around Crystal Methamphetamine at the annual Gay Men's Forum. The City has been fortunate to have Ken take part at these events, as he brings a great amount of expertise to the table as a therapist and coach. He is a pleasure to work with, is always very professional and is highly respected in the community.” – CR, City of West Hollywood
My own experiences in therapy, counseling, and coaching have helped me over the years, and I can help you.
I have my “dream job” of helping gay men close the gap between how life is, and how you would like it to be. I love helping others grow, personally and interpersonally, to reach their full potential. Life is about making it everything you possibly can, and with the right help, you can work toward your highest potential. And it helps to have someone on your side.
I respect the investment of time, energy, and money you make to undergo therapy sessions, and I strive to give value to each and every session we work in together. You will always receive the best I can give, and the personalized service you deserve.
I am available Monday through Friday, day and evening, and I have two clinical associates who are available on Saturdays and Sundays if you need a weekend appointment. I work in my office in Los Angeles (near the Beverly Center mall), but if you can’t come in person, I also provide sessions over the phone or via webcam.
Call my office at 310-726-4357, or call/text 310-339-5778 to schedule a no-charge, 15-minute phone consultation. Let me know the best times to call you back, so we can talk and see if we will be a good match. If you don't have privacy to talk when I call back, let me know when you can speak privately. You can also email me at Ken@GayTherapyLA.com.
I look forward to helping you have the life you want.
Ken Howard, MSW, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#LCS18290)
566 S. San Vicente Boulevard, Suite 103 (at Lindenhurst, near Beverly Center)
Los Angelers, CA 90048
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND SUPPORT:
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, #LCS18290) and have been in practice in West Hollywood and Los Angeles for over 20 years. I have my “dream job” of helping gay men close the gap between how life is, and how you would like it to be. I love helping others grow, personally and interpersonally, to reach their full potential. To read more about my own personal story, professional background, unique qualifications, motivations and philosophies that inform, inspire, and energize my work, see the Biography page.
A number of former clients (with names altered to protect their confidentiality) and colleagues have been kind enough to provide their comments on me and my work.
My self-help book, “Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!”, is based on my first 18 years as a psychotherapist. I call it “the portable therapist”; it helps you close the gap between how life is, and how you would like it to be, in important areas such as health, career, finances, relationships/sex, mental health, community, and spirituality. The e-book version (only $4.99) is also now available for Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and iBook for iPad and iPhone at iTunes! It’s also available in hardcover and paperback: “Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!”
To get your free report, “20 Tips for Gay Men to Improve Your Life – Right Now!” and to sign up for my monthly gay men’s e-newsletter, see the box on the upper-right corner of this website home page. Each month, I’ll deliver right to your email box tips on how to solve the problems you might face in your career, relationships, finances, family, social life and more. It includes practical advice regarding the issues I see in my work with clients every day in my practice. (Privacy is important to all of us; I will not sell, rent, or give your name or email address to anyone).
I record an audio podcast for a general audience, with more tips to have the life you want. It’s also available as a smartphone app, and includes all episodes at your fingertips, at your convenience. See this link: http://itunes.apple.com/cy/app/have-the-life-you-want/id388648727?mt=8
A blog on my musings on current events and gay men’s culture is available, as well as an extensive archives on a wide range of topics from my blog history and magazine articles over the years. Search on the terms you’re interested in, and there’s likely an article about it.
My video blog and YouTube channel, “ShrinkTube”, are available here.
To follow me on Facebook, click on this link here and become a fan! http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/West-Hollywood-CA/Ken-Howard-LCSW-Counseling-Psychotherapy-Coaching-for-Gay-Men/97685311199?ref=ts&__a=16&ajaxpipe=1
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