The Well of Loneliness

  As a young gay boy in small-town Ohio, I read “The Well of Loneliness”, one of the few LGBT books I could get my hands on in our miniscule (and conservative) town library. The novel - written in 1928 by British author Radcliffe Hall - follows...

Why I Like Getting Older

If you believe advertising, getting older is a mistake, a weakness. If you get older and look older, you’ve done it wrong.  This logic works really well for advertising: it creates a lot of scared people desperate enough to buy any product that will keep them...

How to have a low stress life

Today I got a call from a new client, who asked me, “Can you help me lower my stress and anxiety? I don’t want to take medication. Oh, and by the way, I’m kinda depressed too.” This is a common request. Despite TV commercials that show relaxed,...

What is “Love” Anyway?

I love working with couples: they come to me, wanting to improve their communications, work out problems between them and deepen their love. In couples’ therapy, one of the most helpful things I do is to help a couple examine their definition of love. Specifically,...

The Anatomy of an Affair

How do affairs happen? Typically, in my psychotherapy office, when I work with a couple that is struggling with the aftermath of an affair (e.g. one person was unfaithful to the other), it’s common for the person who cheated to say “I don’t know how it...

Not Out to Your Doctor?

As an openly-gay mental health professional, I have long assumed that most LGBT folks are out to their health providers. Wrong! Recently, I was asked to present a talk to an LGBT group on the pros and cons of coming out to your doctor. I was a...

Burned out at work?

I see a lot of clients who have problems with their jobs. They tell me they feel burned out at work. I define this kind of burnout as job-related mental and physical exhaustion that has a negative effect on your personal life. Here are some signs...

Top/Bottom/Versatile

I was recently at a party where I was asked, “As a therapist, can you tell me why there are so many more bottoms than tops?" Well, some things may be eternal mysteries, but I’ll give the question my best shot. I can’t assume that this...

No one’s faithful anymore

Dear Michael: I am so disgusted with our community. It seems that nobody is faithful to their partner anymore. I was in a 10-year relationship that recently ended. I was faithful to my boyfriend and (to my knowledge) he was faithful to me. Now that I’m...

The Psychology of Shopping (and Hoarding)

I enjoy shopping. In small doses. Occasionally, it’s fun to go into stores and see what’s there. I used to shop a lot more. When I would go into a store, I’d literally get an adrenaline rush: so much stuff to look at…and buy. There was...