Gay Men's Institute
67580 Jones Road, Cathedral City, California, 92234
At Gay Men’s Institute, we understand the unique challenges of growing up gay in a predominantly heterosexual culture, in particular, the challenges of accepting one’s own sexual orientation, coming out to parent, friends, and others, and dealing with internalized feelings of shame and separateness. These challenges are considered when developing your treatment plan. Individual therapy, group therapy, and psychoeducation groups will be structured around affirming your sexual orientation, developing DBT skills, exploring personal and social triggers, and helping you find joy in recovery. Process groups will openly discuss topics of concern to gay men, such as social media, online (Apps) dating, HIV/AIDS, PrEP, monogamous and open relationships, healthy sexual behavior, and phase-life-transitions for gay men and our community. Our Family program allows you to invite your family of choice to assist your journey to recovery. Gay Men’s Institute staff is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for you to promote acceptance and healthy recovery.
- Residential Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Sexual Orientation & Gender IdentityGay Men's Institute works exclusively with gay men seeking treatment.
Trauma ReleaseGay Men's Institute staff is experienced in working with patients with a history of many types of trauma. Specializations include sexual trauma, military trauma and early life childhood experiences that must be addressed in therapy in order to attempt to overcome it and truly recover from addiction.
Meet the Staff
- Alan Downs, Ph.D.Executive DirectorAlan Downs is a clinical psychologist, sought-after speaker, and author of several books, including the groundbreaking, The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay In a Straight Man’s World, which is one of the leading self-help books for gay men. Dr. Downs earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Nebraska in 1989. He has spent numerous years working as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA as well as former CEO of Michael’s House Treatment Center in Palm Springs, CA where he also conducted weekend workshops for families of those struggling with addictions. Dr. Downs has been a guest on many media programs including, THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, TODAY SHOW, and NPR’s MORNING EDITION. He has also been a contributing writer to Mother Jones magazine and his work has been quoted numerous times in a variety of media, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Attitude, San Francisco Chronicle and many others. He has made appearances on such programs as CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and NPR’s Morning Edition.
- Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D.Clinical DirectorGaetano Vaccaro is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an expert in Program Management, Organizational Change, and Optimal Performance. Dr. Vaccaro has over twenty-five years of experience as a psychotherapist, clinical program director, workshop facilitator, life coach, and management consultant for program design and implementation. Dr. Vaccaro is a multi-disciplinary psychologist who received his doctorate at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian Depth Psychology, and his Master’s degree in Positive Psychology & Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Dr. Vaccaro’s experience includes holistic multidisciplinary treatment of psychological disturbances and addictions as well as HIV/AIDS treatment and education, sexual compulsivity, addictive behaviors, and mood disorders.
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