"When you think about it, we can be grateful for the positive side of just about anything. It means we are survivors, and that we have support. Self-empowerment means meeting the challenge.”
West Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) July 05, 2011
It was November 3, 1990 when California licensed psychotherapist and life/business coach Ken Howard, LCSW was diagnosed with HIV. Since then, he has devoted his life to helping other gay men like himself, others living with HIV (especially those who are newly-diagnosed), and other non-gay people who can benefit from counseling and coaching. In part to mark his twenty-year successful survival with HIV, Howard has written an inspirational self-help book for a general audience, “Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!”, available in e-book format from Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Apple iBook. A hardcover edition is forthcoming. It’s a guide Howard says is a “portable psychotherapist – designed to help you close the gap between how life is and how you would like it to be, in important areas of life like mental health, health, relationships/sex, career, family, finances, community, and spirituality.” The book is a companion to Howard’s podcast, “Have the Life You Want with Ken Howard, LCSW,” popular on iTunes and other podcast distributors.
In the twenty years since Howard’s diagnosis, he has written articles, given speeches, and counseled thousands of individual clients and couples in his West Hollywood, California office. But it hasn’t all been easy. Howard has had two hip replacement surgeries after developing an HIV-related bone condition called Avascular Necrosis, as well as requiring reconstructive procedures after HIV-related lipoatrophy (“fat loss”) gave his face a sunken look and all but deflated his derriere. In 2001, he also battled and overcame an HIV-related cancer, following 7 weeks of radiation therapy. These experiences help Howard relate to clients, who present with challenges ranging from relationship trouble, stress in starting a business, or their own medical challenges. He also teaches overcoming adversity in his motivational speeches.
He admits that “celebrating” his 20 years of living with HIV, or the 30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS in the United States (in June, 1981), is an occasion of mixed emotions. But he prefers to focus on the positive, as he encourages his clients to do, and put the emphasis on the survival of trauma, rather than its related losses. “When I’m at the gym doing leg presses, or walking on the beach, I don’t think about doing it with artificial hips in my 40’s,” he explains, “I focus on the invigorating workout, or the beauty of the day in the sun. When you think about it, we can be grateful for the positive side of just about anything. It means we are survivors, and that we have support. Self-empowerment means meeting the challenge.”
Howard was trained as a therapist at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, and started his career at several Los Angeles-area AIDS service organizations. He was recognized as one of ten “Dedicated and Deserving” Social Workers of the Year by Social Work Today magazine this February.
The “Have the Life You Want with Ken Howard, LCSW” podcast has over 30 episodes available for download via iTunes, Podcast Alley, Zune, or other providers, and is free. Free articles are available at GayTherapyLA.com and PozTherapist.com, and other self-help material is at HaveTheLifeYouWant.com.