Ken Howard, LCSW, founder of GayTherapyLA.com, is available to consult with producers and writers of television shows and films about gay male issues, LGBT, diversity, bullying, child development, trauma, phase-of-life, relationships, cultural issues, HIV/AIDS, psychiatric disorders, and other themes that might be featured in your project.
Maybe you are a screenwriter, television staff writer, show runner, or studio/network executive in development. You have an interest or assignment in writing a project that involves gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters, and you want authentic, compelling, interesing, captivating characters. Maybe you have strong ideas on your story, plot, and characters, but they need some additional fine-tuning from someone with long-time expertise in this population. Maybe your story or project depicts gay relationships, and you want authenticity about gay relationship dynamics, dialogue, cultural, and social aspects. Or, maybe it’s some combination of these, and you want to find a consultant you can trust, who has both familiarity with the entertainment industry and with these subject matters, but you don’t want “just anyone”; you want a seasoned professional who can also discuss realistic story and character dynamics based on countless real-life examples.
At GayTherapyLA, our staff clinicians have expertise and experience in all of these areas, and more. We can consult with you to take your project to the next level of authenticity, meaning, and compelling value. Often, even a relatively brief consultation can help you spot “trouble spots” and make your project resonate with audiences with more nuances rooted in real-life experience of these specialized populations. Other times, ongoing or more in-depth consultation helps guide the life of your project — from outline, to writing, to production.
A creative team, while full of talented people, can only do so much. None of us can be something we’re not, or get experience and perspecitve in all walks of life. We help you “fill in the gaps” because we’ve walked the walk, talked the talk, and lived the lives that you might be depicting in your project. There are issues in culture, relationships, developmental issues, language, dress, habits, behaviors, “world views”, and perspectives that need to be taken into consideration for many different variations on the LGBT community. These subtleties and variations can include gender identity, race, national origin, age, spirituality, body size/type, intellect, disability status, socio-economic status, level of acculturation, level of “out-ness”, and social “circle”, and more.
You might have more questions…
But can’t any gay, lesbian, LGBT person answer questions for my project? Why would I need to hire you?
Because while you might have friends, colleagues, or acquaintances who represent the LGBT community, they don’t have the background as psychotherapists that our staff does. There are issues in child development, adult development and phases-of-life, and a broader perspective of knowing thousands of representatives from the LGBT community (ourselves, friends, family, and a long (22 years) history of working with LGBT (particularly gay male) clients) that we know and can share as consultants with you.
How can I trust that you won’t steal my ideas? This is all proprietary information with myself, production company, network, or studio.
When we perform consulting services, those conversations are confidential and privileged just like psychotherapy sessions are. We do not disclose any aspect of the content of your material. We do not even disclose that you are our clients. Your work, your intellectual property, remains confidential at any stage of project development. We sign any required non-disclosure agreements your production requires, but your confidentiality is assured in all cases.
Consulting is expensive. My production budget is not that big. How can I justify this cost?
Consulting is expensive, but not relative to the access to the combined decades of expertise that you get in working with our staff. There is information and “perspective” that we can give to you for your project that you simply cannot get anywhere else, as most LGBT-identified psychotherapists do not provide consulting services, or do not provide the level of specialization and breadth/depth of consulting information that we offer. It is also “expensive” to have your story or project lack credibility and verisimilitude that will lead to less impact on audiences and “read” inauthentic. When your story, plot, and characters are rooted in real-life examples and perspectives provided by our consultants, you create a more compelling (and valuable/popular) and critically/commercially successful project that “recoups” your investment.
With our staff’s combined experience, especially Ken Howard, LCSW’s 24-year career specializing in gay men’s mental health and relationships, we have provided dozens of entertainment professionals with support to develop highly-successful projects. The clients’ right to confidentiality prevents enumerating these, but after over two decades working with professionals from the Los Angeles entertainment industry, material from our consulting has been well-represented in many well-known television shows, commercial films, educational films, and multimedia projects, as well as avenues of popular social media. Ken Howard, LCSW is also on the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work, where he teaches advanced courses in psychotherapy and has assisted in the development of a new course on social work practice with the LGBT population. With his combined local Los Angeles production consulting work, and academic/scholarly work, in addition to his personal perspective as a gay man who has lived with HIV for over 24 years, Ken is uniquely qualified to provide consulting services on a variety of projects.
If you’re ready to take your project to the next level, contact us about your particular needs. Consulting services can be in-person at our offices, your offices, home, or via phone, email, or Skype consultation. On a limited basis, on-location, on-set coaching and consulting is also available for all production professionals (writers, actors, designers).