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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Psychologist and Author Walt Odets, Ph.D., joins the show this week to share some insight from over 30 years of writing extensively about the psychological and social issues of gay men, immersing himself in the gay community, and practicing with his own clients. Walt has authored two books, Out of the Shadows in 2019, and In the Shadow of the Epidemic in 1995.



[1:31] Walt has had over 24,000 hours sitting with men affected by HIV, letting them actually be and express themselves. From the notes he took in his practice and what has emerged from his 1995 book, In the Shadow of the Epidemic, comes his new book, Out of the Shadows. He realized the shame and isolation felt by these men had to be talked about, and people really needed to know what it means to survive for a gay man.

[8:20] Walt sees a common belief of “I’m not the kind of person to get HIV”, from the younger generation. Denying the possibility of HIV is a way of also denying the consequences, and just how important it is that we still focus on this epidemic.

[10:13] The tremendous amount of stigmatization and intra community hostility is not helpful for anyone.

[15:09] Three key tenants for a gay man healing from the shame and stigma of HIV are: developing self-acceptance, building confidence, and realizing who they really are in the world and what they have to offer from living authentically.

[19:38] When professionals work on helping someone with their addiction, they know that there needs to be a new tool to have in place, otherwise a relapse may occur.

[25:20] Walt names a few things that will increase the level and quality of connection in the community: real relationships not just based on sex, using apps correctly, and older men mentoring younger men.



Walt Odets



In the Shadow of the Epidemic

Out of the Shadows



● “I sit with a lot of pain.”

● “There is still a well of grief that is not expressed.”

● “It’s self-acceptance that allows confidence, which then allows us to be ourselves.”

● “Shame is about not wanting to be seen by others.”

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