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Community Highlights: Meet Buck Dodson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Buck Dodson.

Hi Buck, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My journey to becoming a psychotherapist and life coach began when I came out to my mom at 15. The morning after, she left a Post-it Note on my bedroom door that read “I love you,” and that night over dinner, she said, “I want you to see a counselor.”

She wanted to make sure it wasn’t a phase, and the loving therapist I went to informed her after the first session that I was definitely gay. He let her know that wasn’t my issue but that I needed help with the anxiety, shame, depression, and loneliness I felt about being different. I also needed support with body image issues, my parents’ divorce and growing up with an alcoholic father.

Even though being a gay teen was why I started counseling, the therapeutic benefit was really about having a positive adult male role model. I continued working with that psychologist until I left for college, and I’ve sought therapy and coaching throughout many periods in my life when I’ve needed support and guidance. I often say that I grew up and continue to grow in therapist offices.

So when it came time to pursue a career, psychology was a no-brainer. I knew I wanted to have the impact on others that my therapists had on me. Combined with my experience of coming to terms with being gay in a predominantly straight – and often homophobic – society, I also felt called to the healing professions so I could help LGBTQIA+ people heal their wounds, set themselves free and live fully as the beautiful souls they are.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Smooth?! LOL and definitely not. I’ve faced many challenges in building a mental health and personal growth business. The first struggle was learning how to run a business which they don’t teach us in “therapy school.” Through on-the-job training, I’ve had to develop a mind for business which isn’t second nature to me. As a therapist and coach, my first love is being in conversation and connection with people, helping to facilitate insights and supporting my clients to realize their dreams. I’m the furthest things from a “natural” at accounting, admin stuff or anything related to the IRS! Learning to manage these aspects of running a business has been tough.

At times, I’ve also struggled with burnout from over-working, not taking enough time off and becoming a bit isolated since I work for and by myself. Learning to take care of my own personal needs as well as the needs of my business is an ongoing work in progress. When it comes to being a therapist and coach, I’ve gone through many periods of struggle when I’ve faced self-doubt, impostor syndrome and most recently as a podcast host, facing the fear of putting myself out there on a larger scale.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in leading-edge personal and relationship growth for LGBTQIA+ people as well as those who are reinventing themselves at midlife. I’m also the host of Gay Men’s Life Lab, which is a podcast for gay, bi and queer men plus allies to learn how to live, love and lead powerfully. I’m all about helping clients and podcast listeners Activate their Gay Superpowers! We all have these, by the way.
Most recently, I’ve become known for my passion around midlife reinvention and helping people create a fresh start in your second half. This means reclaiming your inner authority, sharing your gifts with the world in order to make your unique mark and unapologetically living life on YOUR terms.

I’m most proud of the success of my podcast. In just a year, I’ve had the opportunity to feature a range of healers, visionaries and creatives who are elevating the conversation about what it means to live as a gay, bi and queer man in today’s world. I hear from listeners all the time that the conversations and content are inspiring and affirming them to live their truth.

I’d say the thing that sets me apart most is my willingness to share my vulnerability, to get a little messy and to be authentic. I’m not the “expert” type of coach and therapist or the “here are the five easy steps to success.” I talk openly on my podcast, on social media and my blog about my own challenges and how I’m moving through them. I’m all about creating a genuine connection with people I work with and who follow my work. Being open, honest and real is where it’s at since that’s what we’re all looking for at the end of the day.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
If you’re on the path of healing and personal growth and having a hard time, please know that the messiness, struggle and discomfort are all pushing you to give yourself permission to be more of who you are. Personal growth through therapy and coaching is, ultimately, about accessing the courage and freedom to express all aspects of yourself while confidently embracing life’s complexity – the light, shadow, joy, and pain. Keep doing the work, and one last thing… ask for more help along the way! Most of us didn’t get enough help growing up so asking for more of it as an adult is the X-Factor for personal success.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photography credit: Nicole Mlakar

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