Therapists Talk 
Shrink Rap 


    Michael E. Holtby, LCSW, BCD


I have worked as a psychotherapist dealing with the life adjustments of People With AIDS since the epidemic first impacted Denver (in the early 80's). Close to seventy of my clients have died over the years, but far more are surviving and thriving. Since 1987 I have run HIV psychotherapy groups although as the nature of the epidemic has changed I have not have enough interest to currently maintain a psychotherapy group for PWA's. I believe that as part of an overall health program which enhances the immune system psychotherapy plays a role, although at this point that is within the context of individual and couples therapy.

My involvement over so many years, with so many PWA's, in so many stages of the illness, has helped me develop a unique expertise. I also believe that HIV demands a therapist with a specialized and extensive knowledge about the disease, its complications, treatments, and especially the common psychological reactions and adjustments it demands.

Since 2005 I have been retained as a clinical consultant for the Division of Disease Control & Epidemiology, for the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. I am providing clinical consultation to the CRCS counselors (who deal with sexually transmitted disease cases). I am also a clinical consultant for the CHiP program at Children's Hospital (since 2006), providing clinical supervision for the five masters level social workers who work with HIV cases. I have also seen a number of their clients as well, for short term psychotherapy.

For further information on my views please read my Shrink Rap columns from Colorado's award winning AIDS newsletter, Resolute!

My friend and colleague, Michael Shernoff, MSW in Manhattan also has a number of relevant articles on his web site. Sadly, Michael died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. He had been a survivor of HIV for over two decades. He will be greatly missed.

A particularly useful site with video clips of HIV positive people responding to questions about the experience of being newly tested, disclosure, advice to other PWA's and more . This is a project  was developed in Denver and includes a searchable data base of 1533 video clips on a range of topics relevant to anyone impacted by HIV.

For further information concerning AIDS on the Web visit:

The Body: A Multimedia AIDS & HIV Information Resource

Project Inform


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Critical Path AIDS Project (hosts over 80 AIDS websites)

Denver Public Health

Understanding Bloodborne Pathogens



Last messed with February 23, 2016

Copyright(c) 2001 Michael E. Holtby, LCSW. All rights reserved.