West Hollywood, California (PRWEB) October 19, 2012
Gay men who live in big cities with a large gay population (such as Los Angeles and New York) can easily find a gay-identified psychotherapist who offers help for their relationship, career, sex, dating, family, health, and mental health concerns. But for gay men who live in rural areas where there are fewer gay-identified or gay-affirmative psychotherapists or life/business coaches, getting the necessary help might be harder to find. Ken Howard, MSW, LCSW, is a gay-identified licensed psychotherapist based in Los Angeles, who has specialized in working with gay men for over 20 years. He now offers gay-affirmative counseling (within California) or coaching (outside California) online via Skype, the online phone/video service, to gay men who want help, but used to have to travel far to get it, go without, or even risk seeing a therapist/coach who engages in the widely discredited and harmful "reparative" therapy.
Howard is a popular local gay male specialist psychotherapist in his part of Los Angeles (City of West Hollywood), and is also an adjunct faculty for his alma mater, the University of Southern California, School of Social Work, in their graduate Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program that is available online via their Virtual Academic Center. After teaching MSW students from all over the country, working with clients in areas far from Los Angeles seemed the next logical step.
However, laws governing licensed psychotherapists in each state can be strict about offering online services. Only clients who reside in California can receive psychotherapy services, because California is the state where Howard is licensed. People outside of California can receive "life coaching" or "business coaching" services, which do not come under the same restrictions, though some limitations of online work still apply, which are discussed with each client. "In-person sessions are always the ideal," Howard says, "but for many people who live in areas where there are fewer counseling professionals per capita, finding someone who specializes in a particular niche of expertise, such as gay men, might be harder to find."
While many psychotherapists and coaches in many areas can provide gay-affirmative services, Howard argues that for most issues, seeing a specialist offers an added benefit. "Cultural competency is important for all counseling and coaching services," Howard adds, "This is taught in most graduate counseling and social work programs. But there are many language, cultural, socio-political, and socio-historical implications in working with gay men that apply, and most gay male clients appreciate working with someone who 'gets it' from the start. This goes a long way in building rapport and, ultimately, to resolving problems."
Howard is the author of the self-help book, "Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!", based on his first 18 years as a psychotherapist (which is not exclusively for the gay community), and also publishes an e-newsletter for gay men and a podcast, "Have the Life You Want with Ken Howard, LCSW", heard in over 20 countries around the world.
Those interested in having sessions in-person (in Southern California) or via Skype can contact him directly at 310-726-4357, or via email at Ken(at)GayTherapyLA.com.