The Gifts of Gratitude

The Gifts of Gratitude

Gratitude, and the many means by which it can be practiced, is a powerful resource for anyone working to build emotional and physical resilience in their lives, whether in recovery from an addiction, struggling through a difficult period, or managing a physical illness.


(This is a repost from the original by David Fawcett at

Fawcett Chairs SunServe Conference on HIV/AIDS and Seniors

Individuals over the age of 50 represent half of all people living with HIV and they face challenges from both aging and HIV. On Friday, March 31st Dr. Fawcett attended and presented at the 2017 HIV/AIDS Seniors Conference sponsored by SunServe and AIDS United. Serving as conference chair, he assembled a panel of nationally known experts to address issues unique to this population. For example, even if the person is virally repressed, accelerated aging occurs which can lead to cardiological, liver and kidney issues, as well as bone problems. In addition, there are very few resources for psychosocial support of people who are aging with HIV and AIDS.

The conference was open to anyone who self-identified as a senior. While it is easy to assume seniors with HIV are long-term survivors, this is not always the case since seniors represent a significant group of new cases of HIV. The conference consisted of two tracks, one for professionals and one track for the community. Dr. Fawcett opened the conference and participated in panels for care of “body, mind and spirit” as well as a closing panel. That workshop, “The Next Frontier: Building a Collaborative Community of Care” consisted of Fawcett, and other panel members including Mark King, Nelson Vergel, and Bruce Richman. King is an author, HIV/AIDS advocate, long-term survivors of HIV, and two-time GLAAD Media Award nominee for his blog, My Fabulous Disease. King believes his diagnosis is not a tragedy but something to embrace and utilize to make change. Vergel is also a long-term survivor of HIV and the author of two books, Built to Survive and Testosterone: A Man’s Guide. Vergel believes in using testosterone and hormone replacement therapies to prevent AIDS wasting and extending life. Bruce Richman has been living with HIV since 2003 and is the cofounder of Prevention Access Campaign. Richman’s mission is to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma. Prevention Access Campaign’s message of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) is about getting the word out that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot transmit HIV, and that there is no shame in being HIV positive.

Over 100 people attended the conference, which was held at the Center for Spiritual Living in Oakland Park, Florida. Conference attendee Dr. Alicia Bosley, staff therapist at SunServe who works with newly diagnosed HIV-positive clients as well as long-term HIV survivors stated, “What a wonderful conference! I was able to connect with professionals in the area and learn new things to apply to my practice with people living with HIV. I was impressed by the insight and clinical knowledge of Dr. Fawcett and the humorous but inspirational anecdotes of Mark King.” The HIV/AIDS and Seniors conference is just the beginning of more conferences like this in the future.

“Lust, Men, Meth” event is standing-room only in Seattle


On February 9, Dr. David Fawcett presented a reading and discussion on reclaiming sex and intimacy after methamphetamine based on his book “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery” in Seattle.  The event was a held in collaboration with Gay City and was moderated by local Seattle therapist Peter Jabin, M. Div, LMHCA.  Following a 45 minute presentation based on critical information about recovery from the book, Dr. Fawcett led a lively discussion and answered questions from attendees about meth use in the gay community. Over 50 people were in attendance, filling the Calamus Auditorium to standing-room only. The number of participants is an indicator of the intensity of the meth epidemic among gay men nationwide, as well as the need for solutions.  To order a copy of “Lust, Men, and Meth,” or to learn more about the book and Dr. Fawcett’s upcoming appearances, visit

Life After Meth: Fawcett to speak at Gay City Seattle

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Dr. Fawcett will present a book reading and discussion followed by Q&A and refreshments on Tuesday evening, February 9, 2016 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. The focus of the evening will be reclaiming healthy sex and intimacy after getting clean from meth. The event will take place at the Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, 517 East Pike Street, Seattle, Washington 98122.  The event, moderated by Seattle psychotherapist Peter Jabin, will feature both excerpts from “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery,”  and plenty of opportunity for lively discussion. The reading is free and open to the public.

For more information see the Facebook page here
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2016 Personal Transformation Intensive Announced

Kris Drumm and David Fawcett have announced their 2016 Personal Transformation Intensive (PTI).  This experiential workshop provides an accepting and supportive environment for the challenge of profound personal growth. The PTI takes place over five weekends—one weekend per month for five months.  Groups start Friday at 6pm and end Sunday around 6pm.

The Personal Transformation Intensive process is designed to break through barriers and accelerate personal growth exponentially. During each weekend participants move beyond traditional cognitive therapy to deeper levels of mind-body awareness.  Modalities include meditation, hypnotherapy, psychodrama, and breathwork. Group size is limited to 10 people, providing a safe space for therapeutic work. The PTI facilitates the release of stored emotions and integrates healing into healthy change and new behaviors.

Space is limited. The first weekend is February 19-21, 2016. For more information contact David at or Kris at .

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Fawcett Presents Book Reading and Workshop in New York

On December 13, 2015 Dr. Fawcett presented a reading and discussion called “After Meth: Rebuilding Your Life, Intimacy and Sex” to a packed house at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at the LGBTQ Center in New York.  Based on his book “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery,” Fawcett outlined key points about the physiological and psychological impact of methamphetamine as well as critical skills and tools to promote recovery and healing. After his presentation and reading, Dr. Fawcett had a lively question and answer session with the attendees followed by a reception.


Portions of the workshop are available on video:

“Why I Wrote this Book”

“After Meth Part 1”

“After Meth Part 2”


The holiday season should be a festive one filled with social gatherings, family events, and an overall sense of happiness and gratitude. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people find this time of year extremely stressful and they overindulge in food, spending, and substances.  Family gatherings may not always look like the happy get-togethers sometimes portrayed on television and, as a result, many people experience symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

  • Here are five things that will help you avoid the holiday blues:
  1. Stay Balanced
  •  Avoid overindulging in food, drink, drugs, and spending. Take some time each day for yourself and get plenty of sleep.  Think about what thoughts or situations can throw you off balance. Perhaps crowds, too much social contact or those uncomfortable family gatherings adversely affect your mood.  Learn to identify your personal symptoms of stress so that you can take prompt action and protect your mood.
  1. Remain Socially Connected
  • The holidays can sometimes simply be overwhelming, especially if we are experiencing too much social contact. Despite the urge to withdraw it is critical to remain connected to that small circle of social contacts that constitute your support system. It may simply take reaching out with a quick call or a text to express that you are feeling tired or sad. Many people are reluctant to let others know they are uncomfortable or in pain, but almost everyone feels happy when they can be there for a friend. They may not have a solution (you may not want them to suggest one!) but just being heard is therapeutic.
  1. Manage Expectations
  •  We can sometimes add stress to the holidays by not managing our expectations well.  What are your specific plans for Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve? It’s best not to wait until the last minute to make plans simply because what actually happens may not match your expectation of what the experience should be. If you anticipate conflict at a family gathering you may want to decline the invitation, or bring along a friend. Be aware of special pitfalls the holidays hold for you and create a plan to deal with them well in advance.  Finally, remember that communicating your needs is important for a pleasant and meaningful holiday season. If you need time alone, declare yourself. If you need company, reach out.
  1. Manage attitudes
  •  Negative mindsets frequently occur during the holidays. Become aware of some of your own patterns from the past. Perhaps you sadly remember the last holiday you had with someone who has passed, or you may not be able to be with someone special this year.  Actively counter these negative thoughts with positive, affirming ones. Creating a brief gratitude list can often neutralize negative moods. Plan some “corrective mechanisms” that can get you back on track. These might include taking a nice, long bath, a walk out in nature, a drive to look at holiday lights, or a quiet evening at home watching a Christmas classic. Take care of yourself.
  1. Move out of yourself
  •   Perhaps the single biggest trap during the holidays is simply getting too wrapped up in yourself. Taking a break from your problems and concerns may be therapeutic for you and helpful for someone else. Giving and receiving are what the holiday spirit is really all about. Take some time to volunteer during the season. Do something for someone else. Sponsor a disadvantaged family’s Christmas dinner or work at an organization that serves those in need during this season.  Getting out of yourself is an extremely effective way to elevate your mood and be or service at the same time.
  •            There is no doubt that this season can be tough for many people but with the right tools it can be the special time of year that it should be for all of us. Happy holidays!



Fawcett Presents at International Stigma Conference

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Dr. Fawcett participated in the 6th International Conference on Stigma at Howard University in Washington, DC on Friday, November 20, 2015.  He served on the planning committee leading up to this year’s assembly, which expanded beyond HIV-related stigma to include mental health, addictions, and other types of stigmatized identities and behaviors. The conference featured a number of internationally-known speakers such as Megan McLemore of Human Rights Watch and Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine and The Sero Project.

Fawcett moderated a panel called “Not Alone: Insights for Individuals Dealing with Stigma and Shame” which focused on the experience of internalized stigma and interventions to help people overcome it. Other panelists included Mark S. King (@MyFabulousDisease) and Dave Watt (@MisterFriendly).  The conference concluded with an evening of musical entertainment.


Flakka, Meth, and New Synthetic Drugs

On November 7, Dr. Fawcett participated in Sunserve’s 12th Annual LGBT Quality Care Conference held this year at Barry University in Miami Shores. Over 120 mental health professionals attended a variety of workshops geared for those interested in starting work with this population, as well as more advanced topics.

Dr. Fawcett addressed the growing problem of synthetic drugs which are creating both psychological and medical crises across Florida and, increasingly, around the nation. His talk, “NEW SYNTHETICS ON THE STREET: FLAKKA, PSYCHEDELICS, AND ‘INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH’ METH” contained abundant information on this emerging crisis.

Dr. Fawcett with colleague Kris Drumm LCSW at the 12th Annual LGBT Quality Care Conference.

Fawcett Trains Clinicians in Group Therapy

On October 16 David was one of four trainers who presented a day-long workshop on group therapy facilitation for 40 mental health professionals. This event was sponsored by the Florida Institute for Group Facilitation which is based at Sunserve, south Florida’s LGBT mental health agency.