Are you tired of feeling stuck in patterns, relationships, or behaviors that aren’t working? 

Are you frustrated with lack of motivation or progress in an important area of your life? 

Do you want to find healing for pain that you’ve been carrying around for too long? 

It’s Time To Start Feeling Better and Working Toward Change

Therapy is a great way to untangle the challenges we face within and outside of ourselves. It can help us attend to our emotions and learn to more effectively get our needs met. And it can give us tools to manage anxiety, worry, and other feelings that sometimes keep us stuck.

Many gay/bi and trans men have been let down by their friends, families and faith communities due to their sexuality or gender expression. You may be coming to therapy for something unrelated to your sexuality or gender, but it’s important to me that you feel safe to bring your whole self to therapy.

Experiences growing up gay or gender non-comforming, play a significant role in personal development. For individuals from conservative faith backgrounds, this can also deeply impact your spiritual journey. These experiences often become an important area of discussion in the therapy process and we can work together to understand how these experiences have influenced who you are today.

To learn more about my special areas of practice with gay/bi and trans-men, see below:

Areas of Practice

Christian Faith and Spirituality

Depression

Anxiety

Relationship Issues

Finding Love

Sexual Health

Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Methamphetamines

I'm excited to support you on your journey.
Learn more about working with me here.

 

CHRISTIAN FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY

If you grew up in a conservative Christian faith community, you have likely experienced a lot of pain around your sexuality or gender expression. You may have experienced rejection. You might have prayed that God would change you. You might still be hiding who you are. These communities are often sources of strength and closeness, they provide the foundations for which you live your life. To not belong feels threatening and painful. If faith is important, you probably want to find a way to heal those wounds and rediscover a Christian faith that embraces you. I practice affirmative therapy, which embraces a positive view of LGBTQ identities. I deeply value providing guidance along the faith journey for gay/bi and trans men.

 

DEPRESSION

Depression can cause low mood, withdraw from people or activities, procrastination (and endless Netflix binges). I have helped gay/bi and trans men who are experiencing depression feel hope and motivation again. Exploring depression's primary causes can help bring deep healing. Sometimes it leads back to low self-esteem or a relationship or circumstance in our past that has led to inaccurate beliefs about ourselves. Healing these experiences while also using new cognitive and behavioral tools can help someone depressed feel hope again.

 

ANXIETY

Anxiety can affect areas of our lives like sleep, our ability to focus, or feeling secure in relationships. Anxiety sometimes keeps us stuck from making progress, or engaging in activities or projects we need or want to be involved in. Healing from experiences that have contributed to anxiety are so important and learning tools to begin managing these thoughts and feelings can make a real difference.

 

RELATIONSHIP ISSUES (family, social, professional, romantic)

Relationships are deeply important to those who work with me. We all need others. We are social beings. We care what others think of us. We want to be valuable to the people we love. We don’t want to hurt them. And we want to protect ourselves from people who will hurt us. Many mental health concerns circle back to our relationships. Healing old relationship wounds, breaking patterns that aren’t working, and teaching healthy relationship skills are the foundation of my work with clients. Imagine feeling effective in your communication, able to deal with conflict, secure and confident with others, a sense of deep self-acceptance, and being able to move toward intimacy with others who have the capacity to do the same.

 

FINDING LOVE

Finding love in New York City is tough! I love helping men who are seeking intimacy and companionship through a long-term monogamous relationship discover why they keep meeting the wrong partners and make changes that help them have the kind of relationship they desire. When romantic encounters aren't turning into the kind of relationship you are hoping for, there is often a pattern of being attracted to partners who aren’t a great fit emotionally. It’s important to explore this, understand what your patterns are, and learn how to shift them. We learn our attachment patterns at a very young age but you can change these patterns and start choosing partners who share the desire for the kind of love and companionship that you do.

 

SEXUAL HEALTH

Our sexuality is a core component of our lives. No matter what your experience, it’s my goal to help you to feel safe and not judged. I have lots of experience helping clients cope with the experience of having an STI, including HIV. I’ve also helped clients who have had emotionally painful experiences surrounding sex. It’s a passion of mine to support clients in becoming empowered around their sexuality and choices, to be able to express their values, needs, desires, and boundaries, and to know that these things matter and deserve respect.

 

COMPULSIVE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

For many men, apps like Grindr are a fun way to meet others and enjoy sexual encounters. For others, they can be an open door to sexual behavior that begins to interfere with life. Many people who don't experience sex addiction ask me how sex addiction is defined. Usually men who experience compulsive sexual behavior feel distressed by their behavior and feel out of control. They feel preoccupied by their sexual thoughts and their thoughts and behavior interferes with personal commitments, work, or other responsibilities. Similar to other addictions, non-addicts remain able to choose, to stop after two drinks, to call it a night. Others have a harder time breaking away or feel compelled to return even when they've promised themselves they wouldn't do it again. If this sounds like you, there is help available. I have experience working with men who desire to feel in control of their sexual behavior again. Healing is possible! (If you are not yet ready for counseling, I recommend the book Cruise Control by Robert Weiss.)

 

METHAMPHETAMINES

Are you concerned about your use of methamphetamines? I know you probably never thought of yourself as someone who would be here. Most of the clients I've worked with never saw themselves as someone who would have difficulty with abstaining from a substance like meth. Many gay men who use meth do so about 1x per month, often in social or sexual encounters. Some use more frequently. What most men I work with hate about using is that coming down can feel terrible and recovery can last days, interfering with other parts of their life. One time per month or even less can still have a great impact on your world when it's so hard to bounce back. I have training and experience in the area of substance use and have worked with many gay/bi men who desire to abstain from meth. Often, it's not that you are physiologically dependent on the substance, but certain situations create a mental trigger to use. Our work will explore these triggers and offer you skills to manage them more successfully.

 

Ready to Take the Next Step

If you are ready for this journey, I’d love to talk with you. Call or email me for a brief phone consultation to see if we are a good fit. 917-689-6530 or melissa@myheartdances.com