About Dr. Downs


Alan Downs, Ph.D. is a California licensed clinical psychologist and the former CEO of Michael’s House, a drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Springs, California. He specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), gay men’s issues, and psychological assessment.

His twenty years of working in mental health and substance abuse are reflected in his eight books in both leadership and self-help.  Dr. Downs is the author of the 1996 bestselling book, Beyond the Looking Glass.  His current book, The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World, has been a bestselling book among gay and lesbian readers fora number of years.   His work has been published in over 12 languages.

In 1996, Dr. Downs was invited by the Clinton administration to address the Senate Democratic Caucus on the detrimental psychological effects of large-scale layoffs.  He is a nationally known expert in the field of mental health and addictions and has been quoted in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, The Advocate, Out Magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

In addition, Dr. Downs has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including: The Oprah Winfrey ShowGood Morning AmericaCBS Sunday MorningThe Today ShowNBC Nightly NewsNational Public Radio’s Morning Edition, to name just a few.

Dr. Downs holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Nebraska.