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My Approach

I provide a range of services to my clients, including individual, couples and family therapy sessions. My approach to treatment planning is always evidence based. All clients complete a battery of valid and reliable measures prior to initiating treatment. 

We regularly monitor progress to ensure that the chosen approach is working to improve client outcomes. Specific information about my approach to common challenges are listed below.

Relationships & Sexual Health

LGBT couples face unique challenges, many of which result from stressors placed upon the couple by outside forces. Coming out to friends and family, seeking relationship role models, and navigating decisions about monogamy and open relationships are among the common concerns I address with my clients in order to help them achieve growth and fulfillment as a couple.

My approach to couple’s therapy is strengths-based and goal-directed. There is no one formula for the ideal relationship. 

We start by understanding relationship formation and the fondness and admiration that brought the couple together. Sessions prioritize effective communication and managing conflict in order to achieve the couple’s goals.

The landscape of sexual health is rapidly changing, especially for gay men. Using a sex-positive approach, I provide psychoeducation on the benefits and challenges of using gay social media, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and other harm reduction strategies to maximize sexual pleasure and minimize risk.

Self-Esteem & Body Image

Many gay men, lesbian women, and transgender people struggle to develop self-esteem and a healthy body image. For most, this struggle is rooted, in large part, to societal expectations of masculinity and femininity within specific subcultures.

In order to bolster self-esteem and help clients develop a healthy body image I use vetted tools like the Building Resiliency Workbook and the Body Image Workbook. Following a comprehensive assessment, clients complete weekly exercises to systematically enhance self-esteem. The result is better individual and relationship functioning.

Depression & Anxiety

Mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, are among the most common mental health problems faced by all people, including LGBTQ people. Depression and anxiety symptoms can prevent individuals from deriving fulfillment across all areas of life – at home, at work, and in relationships. Fortunately, there are a number of evidence-based treatment approaches that work well to alleviate these symptoms.

In my practice I utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy techniques to address the root causes of depression and anxiety. Together, we will explore core beliefs that result in negative thinking patterns and behaviors that impede happiness and fulfillment. By systematically challenging these beliefs and interrupting negative thought patterns, depression and anxiety can be managed effectively. 

Substance Use Disorder

Recent estimates indicate that over 20 million adults in the United States had a substance use disorder (SUD). Rates of SUD are higher among LGBTQ people and are often driven by stigma, discrimination and social exclusion. While some people require intensive inpatient or outpatient treatment program to manage SUD, many people can effectively reduce substance use with state-of-the-art treatment programs.

Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based practice, which seeks to help clients understand the costs and benefits of substance use and move toward a strategy that meets the client’s goals. While this may be abstinence for some, it is often reduction for others. My approach to treating SUD is to meet the client where they are and conjointly develop a strategy that meets their goals. I would with a network of psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists who can help clients understand whether medication assisted treatment (MAT) for SUD may be possible.

Ian Holloway Therapy Group
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