Shrink at the Movies: “The King’s Speech” (2010)

“The King’s Speech” (2010) Criticize, if you must, the cultural and technological juggernaut that is all things Facebook.  But I, for one, am very grateful that this phenomenon exists.  For many reasons, but one of my favorites is the opportunity to connect with people from My Past that I had lost touch with.  One such … Read more

Memory: Blessing or Curse?

I thought about this recently, after a particularly busy day of sessions of clients in my practice.  Is having memory a blessing, or a curse? I was moved by stories of clients who are abuse survivors, with their ability to recall the traumatically abusive incidents that happened to them in detail from various self-indulgent and … Read more

Getting Crystal Clear: A New Deal (Crystal Meth Recovery)

Counseling, Therapy and Coaching for Gay Men in Los Angeles, California
Counseling, Therapy and Coaching for Gay Men in Los Angeles, California
Counseling, Therapy and Coaching for Gay Men in Los Angeles, California

The Mental Health Aspects of Crystal Meth Recovery

Perhaps no issue is hotter in the gay community these days than that of Crystal Meth. It seems everyone is either doing it themselves, or knows someone who uses regularly, and almost everyone knows someone who “has a problem” with it – from problem use that affects their job or relationships, to full-on addiction that has the same effect as a major medical illness. In my work as a psychotherapist, nearly one-third of my practice consists of gay men who are trying to get off, and stay off, using crystal. While various drug treatment centers exist (including the promising and innovative Prometa Center), and while AA and CMA are vital resources in the community, the mental health aspects of crystal use deserve more attention and discussion in the community.

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Reflections on Labor Day: Have the Work Life You Want with Executive or Vocational Coaching

Labor Day was designed to be a holiday where we take time to celebrate the accomplishments and the sacrifice of the American worker. Recently in my psychotherapy practice, I have begun to offer more and more sessions on executive or vocational coaching, because a rewarding work life as part of a satisfying career is a key component of a person’s mental health.

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Applying “The Secret” To Gay Men’s Lives

The recent (and perhaps transient) popularity of “The Secret,” the almost “underground” self-help DVD that has become the latest rage of “Oprah” and “Ellen” in recent weeks, has been the topic of water-cooler conversations all over the country and certainly in therapist’s offices like mine.

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The Gifts from Oz: Lessons for HIV

The recent annual telecast by cable network TBS of the classic 1939 MGM film, “The Wizard of Oz” marks an annual ritual for me that dates back to when I was four. Watching this wonderful work of Hollywood magic each year gives me a chance to revisit its dazzling color, charm, and beauty like visiting an old friend. It also gives me a chance to contemplate its universal, timeless themes that coincide with the characters’ deepest desires:

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Express Yourself, Part II

For the previous article to this, click here for Express Yourself, Part I

Last month, I related a story of a recent study from Dr. Kevin J. Petrie at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) of how 37 people living with HIV were studied in two groups: one group who expressively wrote about their feelings for 30 minutes a day on 4 consecutive days, and a comparison group who wrote objectively about how they occupied their time.

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When Your Therapist Is Part of the Problem

In my first column for A&U in August 2002, I wrote about how everybody is a therapist these days – from massage therapy to aromatherapy. I wrote then about how the term “therapist,” as I use it, refers specifically to professional providers of counseling and psychotherapy, who are appropriately trained and licensed by the states in which they practice. By having objective credentialing standards and standards of care, consumers of mental health services are protected from the modern-day equivalent of snake-oil, cure-all hucksters.

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