What should I look for in a psychotherapist?
Make sure the therapist practices gay affirmative psychotherapy. That means he or she does not view being gay as a problem, but rather as a healthy variation – equal to – heterosexuality.
Also, make sure the therapist has received additional training on what it means to be gay. Sometimes, with the best of intentions, therapists do gay clients a disservice by treating them "like everybody else." In doing so, they overlook the unique challenges gay men face.
How can I tell if a therapist is gay affirmative?
Ask. And if you want a gay or lesbian psychotherapist, don't be afraid to ask the therapist about his or her sexual orientation. You can tell a great deal by how he or she answers the question.
The clinician's waiting room is also a good tip-off. Are there gay-friendly publications around? What about the informational intake form? Does it ask for sexual orientation? Are your only choices single or married? What about partnered?
How can I find a gay affirmative psychotherapist?
Check with the local gay and lesbian community center in your area. They often maintain lists of gay-friendly businesses and health care providers. Many large communities also publish a gay yellow pages directory. Therapists often run ads in those.
If neither of those suggestions work for you, you can check with the psychology department of a near-by university. They may have an onsite clinic or offer support services for gay students, and can provide you with the name of gay affirmative psychotherapists.
Run, don't walk, away from the therapist who offers to "heal" or "repair" your sexual orientation. These practitioners are at best unethical and at worst, quite damaging. There's plenty of respected research showing such therapies simply don't work.