01/24/2007 at 04:45 PM EST
's Isaiah Washington, who said a week ago that he needs help to resolve issues "within my own soul" following his anti-gay remarks, is seeking counseling, he said in a statement Wednesday.
"With the support of my family and friends, I have begun counseling," he said. "I regard this as a necessary step toward understanding why I did what I did and making sure it never happens again. I appreciate the fact that I have been given this opportunity and I remain committed to transforming my negative actions into positive results, personally and professionally."
The 43-year-old actor remains at the center of a firestorm of controversy after using a homophobic slur to refer to his costar T.R. Knight, who is gay.
Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey's Anatomy
, said in a statement Wednesday: "We applaud and encourage Isaiah's realization that he needs help and his subsequent choice to seek immediate treatment for his behavioral issues."
Rhimes said all the parties involved were seeking to "address the issue in a way that underscores the gravity of the situation while giving us all a foundation for healing."
Washington, who plays Dr. Preston Burke on the hit ABC show, first used the slur during an on-set argument in October, and then repeated the word at the Golden Globe awards this month. (Knight has said that the incident in October prompted him to come out.
Last Thursday, Washington apologized
, saying he could "no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."
On Monday, he met with gay leaders
from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano said in a statement Wednesday, "We are pleased to see Isaiah seeking help to deal with the issues he alluded to in his public statements and in our meeting with him this past Monday."