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THERAPIST FOR GAY MEN - LOS ANGELES

GAY MEN & GAY COUNSELING 
Los Angeles | Southern California | LGBTQ+ TherapY

As a dedicated Licensed therapist in Los Angeles with a decade of experience, I specialize in addressing the mental health needs of gay men and the broader LGBTQ+ community. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges and experiences faced by gay individuals, my practice offers a safe, inclusive, and affirming space for therapy and counseling. 

Who am I?

I identify as a cisgender gay male therapist living in Los Angeles. I received my Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and was in both the LGBTQIA+ Affirmative psychology specialization and the Depth Psychology specialization. I have nearly a decade of experience working with LGBTQ+ clients in my private practice while training at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills and when I worked at The Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood.

Where am I?

.​My office is in the heart of West Hollywood, in between San Vicente and La Cienega Blvd on Santa Monica Blvd. I work with people from all over greater Los Angeles.

 

I have a limited number of sliding scale therapy sessions each week, so fees for lgbtq affirming sessions vary from $195 to $250.​

WHAT I HELP WITH

In LGBTQ therapy, I work with clients on a range of areas such as anxiety, trauma, sexuality and depression, relationship issues, and navigating the complexities related to family acceptance and coming out. 

 

I am certified as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist for the LGBTQ+ Community and use elements of this in my work, along with psychodynamic therapy, lgbtq affirming, and Modern Group Analytic theory.

What people say

"The absolute best. Oliver Drakeford is the most talented and knowledgeable therapists I've ever crossed paths with"

"His insights were spot on and  put things into perspective, which is exactly what I needed and wanted... the best therapy I've had!"

Gay Men's Counseling in West Hollywood
 

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist who provides therapy services to families, couples, and adults. I have a particular passion for working with and offering therapy to queer men, whether in-person at my office or through online sessions.

 

My affirmative therapy practice is conveniently situated in the heart of Los Angeles, in West Hollywood, along Santa Monica Boulevard. It is a privilege to serve this vibrant community and offer various therapy services in a location that is easily accessible to local residents.

I invite anyone interested in working with me for a complimentary consultation call. During this time, I aim to create a safe and welcoming space for clients or prospective clients to ask questions, address their mental health or relationship-related concerns, and better understand my affirmative practice.

 

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF  Seeing A GAY Therapist IN LOS ANGELES

Oliver Drakeford Therapy

Opting for a gay therapist in Los Angeles comes with the unique advantage of shared experiences and understanding. This can be especially beneficial for gay men seeking therapy, as it creates a relatable and empathetic environment. Research shows us that finding a therapist who can empathize with your unique everyday life experiences is vital for a positive experience and treatment results, this is the essence of LGBTQ affirming therapy. 

One of the primary benefits of collaborating with a gay or queer marriage and family therapist lies in their ability to create a safe and non-judgmental space where individuals can freely delve into their thoughts, emotions, and concerns without the fear of bias or discrimination. They possess a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics and foster an environment conducive to addressing intimate issues like sexuality and substance use.

 

LGBTQ Affirmative Therapists possess extensive knowledge of the social, cultural, and systemic challenges affecting LGBTQ+ individuals, enabling them to offer context and validation to their clients' experiences, often drawing from their own personal journeys.

This can prove particularly advantageous during individual therapy sessions, especially when navigating sensitive topics such as coming out, identity exploration, gender identities, and the dynamics of same-sex relationships.

More about LGBTQ AFFIRMative THERAPY WITH Oliver Drakeford, LMFT, CGP

His dedication to the LGBTQ+ community is evident in his involvement as a social group facilitator at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and his role as a co-facilitator of The Gay Men's Interpersonal Process Group at The Maple Counseling Center. Through speaking engagements and teaching commitments, Oliver actively contributes to the field, sharing his expertise in family systems, group therapy, and LGBTQ+ issues.

Oliver's academic background includes a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, complemented by certifications from renowned institutions such as The Gottman Institute and the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles.

 

His dedication to advancing mental health is underscored by accolades such as the Donald T Brown Memorial Scholarship for Group Psychotherapy, demonstrating his commitment to providing exceptional care to his clients [8]. Contact Oliver today to schedule a free consultation and embark on a journey towards positive change and personal growth.

Oliver Drakeford, MA, LMFT, CGP, is a seasoned therapist in West Hollywood, CA, specializing in supporting gay men and the LGBTQ+ community. With nearly a decade of experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Oliver prioritizes fostering healthy and balanced relationships, addressing issues ranging from anxiety and depression to addiction and family dynamics. His extensive training at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills and certification from the Los Angeles Institute and Association for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS) equip him with a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic modalities. Additional training he recieved includes 'Mentalization-Based Training', 'Modern Group Analysis' and 'The Gottman Method'.

about me

WHAT I HELP GAY MEN AND LGBTQ+ CLIENTS WITH IN MY PRACTICE:

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Addiction / Substances

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Same-Sex Relationships

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Depression & Anxiety

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Self Esteem

My approach to working with gay men is a holistic approach that helps in the following areas and more:

Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression can creep into our lives for any number of reasons; sometimes, they stick around longer than we like, and sometimes, we think they've gone, and they reappear. We will work together to understand the roots of these symptoms as well as find ways to create immediate relief. 

Relationship Issues:

Everyday life relationships and romantic relationships can sometimes pose challenges that therapy can help navigate. Building healthier relationships with others can lead to personal growth.

Family Of Origin:

Our upbringing significantly shapes who we are today, and certain psychological issues may stem from our childhood experiences, especially if there was a history of sexual abuse or trauma. Read more about trauma therapy here.

Intimate Partner Abuse:

When conflicts escalate to aggression in a relationship, addressing these issues can be challenging. Men, in particular, might find it difficult to discuss due to societal stigma and complicated relationship dynamics.

Life Challenges:

Whether it's work-related stress, friendship issues, dating, relocating, or other life changes, discussing these matters with a clinician can be beneficial.

Negative Core Beliefs:

Unpacking and addressing the core beliefs that underlie dysfunctional behaviors in life and relationships is a crucial aspect of therapy.

Phase Of Life Issues:

Major life transitions such as marriage, divorce, or coming out can be significant stressors that may be a key component of some mental health concerns.

Identity Issues & Sexual Identity:

Questions about identity are common when coming out, but they can also apply to a broader range of identity-related issues beyond the LGBTQ+ community.

People Pleasing:

Growing up as a gay man or queer person can influence our tendency to engage in people-pleasing tendencies. An LGBTQ+ affirmative therapist can assist in establishing healthy boundaries and any relationship issues.

Low Self-Esteem:

Some LGBTQ+ individuals may grapple with lower self-esteem, which may be masked by defense mechanisms like anger, addiction, or substance use issues.

Relationship to Body / Body Image Issues:

Queer men may have complex relationships with body image and appearance. Part of the healing process involves understanding and addressing these issues to foster a positive self-image.

If you are curious about working with me or have questions about how this works, please set up a free 15-minute consultation call with me here, and I'll walk you through what I do in my private practice and how I help people as a marriage and family therapist. 

If you identify as a queer person or are LBGTQ+ finding community mental health services close to you can be a relief, and my professional experience and training are close by. I offer a safe environment to discuss your concerns without fear of discrimination or judgment. 

I run a private practice situated in the central area of Los Angeles, right in the heart of West Hollywood along Santa Monica Blvd. My schedule includes session options during both weekdays and evenings. If you'd like to schedule a complimentary consultation call, please don't hesitate to reach out to me here. Additionally, I'm more than willing to offer information about various mental health resources to assist you further in looking for gay therapist los angeles.

REAL CLIENTS SUCCESS STORIES: WHAT PEOPLE SAY :

The absolute best. Oliver Drakeford is the most talented and knowledgeable therapists I've ever crossed paths with.

He listens intently, remembers virtually everything you tell him, synthesises all your information, makes connections and pops out some startlingly helpful feedback

His insights were spot on and  put things into perspective, which is exactly what I needed and wanted... the best therapy I've had! <3

Professional, caring, involved, and effective.  ... [I] ..cannot recommend more!

testimonials

Gay Men, SUBSTANCES and Therapy IN West hollywood

Let's address the topic of substance use and Chem Sex within the LGBT community, a concern particularly prevalent in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

This issue isn't easily quantified, but its presence is undeniable and poses a significant challenge. While data pertaining to the pandemic's impact on this matter is yet to be officially published, we are aware that substance abuse rates are notably higher within the gay and transgender population, exceeding the estimated 9% average for the general population. In specific instances, the usage of amphetamines among gay men, for example, is reported to be as much as 12 times higher compared to straight men. Similarly, heroin use is nearly 10 times more prevalent in gay men when compared to heterosexual men.

Within Los Angeles, statistics reveal a concerning trend, with approximately 4,300 meth-related deaths in LA County between 2008 and 2019. Notably, there was a 66% increase in meth-related fatalities from 2017 to 2019.

Alcohol abuse is another critical issue, with up to 25% of LGBTQ+ individuals potentially grappling with this problem, a significantly higher proportion compared to the 5-10% observed in the wider population. Additionally, smoking habits appear to be a noteworthy concern, as studies suggest that gay individuals may engage in smoking at double the rate of their heterosexual counterparts.

LGBTQ Therapy addiction and substances
What I help with
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LGBTQ+ RELATIONSHIPS AND ANXIETY

The LGBTQ+ journey introduces unique dynamics to relationships that may not be as prevalent in heterosexual unions. Many LGBTQ+ individuals have experienced the challenges of growing up in a predominantly heteronormative society, which can leave lasting imprints, especially if their coming-out process involves feelings of shame or rejection. These lingering emotions can sometimes manifest in relationships, resulting in patterns of avoidance or unintentional harm.

During moments of conflict, it's not unusual for individuals in LGBTQ+ relationships to react not only to the current issue but also from a place of past trauma and emotional wounds. This can create communication barriers, obscuring the genuine emotions and intentions of both partners.

Furthermore, research has highlighted the prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence within LGBTQ+ couples, a topic that often arises during counseling sessions.

Acknowledging and comprehending the influences that shape your relationship serves as a pivotal step in fostering an understanding of relationship issues.

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SELF WORTH and DEPRESSION IN THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

Some therapists view the experience of growing up as a gay individual as potentially traumatic, and emerging research underscores its enduring influence on our adult lives. This impact can manifest in various ways, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. For many LGBTQ+ individuals, seeking mental health care becomes a crucial step in addressing this trauma.

Regardless of the level of acceptance and love within one's childhood home, most LGBTQ+ individuals have encountered subtle rejections and micro-aggressions that contribute to feelings of anxiety or depression. Even if they haven't directly faced rejection or verbal slurs, the awareness of these possibilities creates a significant emotional burden, particularly for young children. Consequently, individuals often learn to conceal their true selves to fit in or adapt, making therapy a vital journey of self-discovery.

The LGBTQ+ Community in any city, not limited to West Hollywood, may grapple with symptoms of "minority stress." This stress arises from the experience of growing up LGBTQ+ in a predominantly heteronormative world, similar to the experiences of People of Color growing up in predominantly white societies. In both cases, individuals internalize the message that they are somehow "other" or "lesser" than the heterosexual or white population. It can be challenging to cultivate self-love in an environment where one's identity has been stigmatized or devalued. LGBTQ+ therapists are available to help validate your experiences and guide you toward accepting and loving yourself for who you are.

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