Alan Downs, Ph.D., Executive Director – Alan 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,[5] The New YorkerThe Wall Street JournalUSA TodayChicago TribuneAttitudeSan Francisco Chronicle and many others. He has made appearances on such programs as CBS Sunday MorningGood Morning AmericaNBC Nightly News, and NPR’s Morning Edition.

Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D., Clinical Director – Gaetano 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.

Loralie Yzerman, RN, Director of Nursing





Director of Outpatient Services – Paul d’Entremont


Brett Drummond, RADT-I, Director of Admissions – Brett Drummond has worked in the Addiction Treatment Field since 2008. As Gay Men Institute Director of Admissions, Brett strives to create a comfortable admissions process for all our clients. Brett has been the Director of Admissions for the past two years for Sunspire Health Desert Palms. Brett has also held positions such as Recovery Tech Manager and Program Manager for Sunspire Health. Prior to these roles, Brett worked for the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, CA and Axis Residential Treatment in Indian Wells, CA. Brett strives to ensure that all patients are given thorough and comprehensive admission.

Director of Operations –

Client Care Coordinator –

Primary Therapist – Perla Rae, MFT

Primary Therapist – Noella Barb, AMFT

Primary Therapist –

Primary Therapist –

Gay Men's Institute
Call Intake: 760-767-8068