Our philosophy at the Gay Men’s Institute is simple and direct – recovery, as well as any significant life change, is all about learning effective life skills and practicing those new behaviors until they become a natural part of your life.
There are many evidence-based therapies that have been proven to be highly effective in helping individuals recover from substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. All of these therapies share one principle in common: meaningful life change comes from mindful practice!
Our treatment model introduces patients to several essential “Skills for Living an Authentic Life, encompassing three essential aspects of a gay man’s life: Life Choices, Increasing Positive Emotions, and Relationships (Excerpted from The Velvet Rage, Second Edition, by Alan Downs, Ph.D.).
The man I would become
Inner peace above all else
Never react while feeling an intense emotion
Choose contentment over approval
Increasing positive emotions:
Accept reality on reality’s terms.
One thing, one person, one conversation in the moment.
Take a non-judgmental stance whenever possible.
Walk your way out of distress. Respect your body. No feeling lasts forever.
Don’t let your sexual taste be the filter by which you allow people into your life.
Would you rather be right or be happy?
Always look first for the innocence of others.
In conflict, assess your responsibility first.
Keep your inner circle secret and safe.
On your side of the street.
Speak to the Offender first (instead of everyone else).
Live in integrity.
Default to forgiveness rather than resentment.
Chart your practice and acknowledge your success.