This is where I get to tell you all about me. Both my personal as well as professional experience. My hope is that by reading this you will develop a sense of who I am. The reason why I became a therapist, the road map of my career as a therapist, as well as an understanding of how I work with my clients.
My Personal Experience
As a child, my father suffered with major depressive disorder. His depression had a deep impact on me and my family. We all saw the downward spiral, and experienced emotional pain, as we saw him decline from a highly successful, funny, social person to a mentally disabled bedridden shell of a man over a period of years. There were short moments of hope and excitement, having him back, but sadly the depression took hold of him again. Depression took away a father from me as well as my siblings. My mother lost her husband and financial support. She was forced to enter the job market and manage a house alone.
Being the eldest, I took on the role of emotional helper. Having seen what my father was capable of, I was determined to get him back. I remember standing at his bedside daily, providing emotional support. In mornings I would wake him up doing my best to encourage and motivate him to face the day. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Being aware of my mother’s own struggles, I would comfort her through her tears and worries. I also supported my siblings, taking care of them as best as I could. Despite my best efforts my family situation did not change. No matter what I did it wasn’t enough. I was a child, not an adult. I was playing a role I was not trained for. I was not a therapist.
My Professional Experience
My childhood experience fueled my drive to learn about psychology, and to ultimately become a licensed psychotherapist. I did not want anyone to experience the struggle of my childhood. I became very curious with what made people who they are and how I can best assist them. Often, I would do my own self analysis as I looked at my own emotions and actions. Eventually, I sought out my own therapy for my own healing, guidance, and support.
Wanting more, I went to college to learn more about psychology. I love it so much that I am still learning. I obtained a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and immediately entered the mental health field. I later obtained a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and became licensed as a mental health counselor. My entire adult life has been dedicated to assisting others emotionally. At this point there is an intuitive sense for helping others, I take pride in my ability to assist others in personal change. Through my own personal development work, continued educational training and professional reading I continually strive to be the best instrument of change I can be.
I am a licensed psychotherapist, life coach and certified instructor for a personal development seminar, I have been supporting, advising and transforming others since 1986.
As a licensed mental health counselor I have vast experience treating individuals who experience a variety of mental health as well as substance abuse issues. My specialties include: treatment of depression so individuals can go through their days with more hope and happiness; treatment of anxiety based disorders so individuals can go through their days with more freedom; treatment of trauma so individuals can live freely in the present not stuck and triggered from the past.
In working with couples, I help each partner see how they trigger and become triggered by each other. I love witnessing the “aha” moment when one partner realizes they are being triggered not from their partner but from someone in their past. From this space, I guide the couple toward new patterns of loving response and enhanced connection.
I also specialize in men’s issues including: identifying emotions, enhancing emotional vulnerability, reducing shame, managing anger, building empowerment and enhancing relationship skills. I see men individually as well as via men’s support groups.
The range of treatment modalities I utilize include cognitive behavioral, anxiety treatment protocols, EMDR and inner child based/family of origin work.
I have worked across multiple levels of care including inpatient hospitalization and rehabilitation, intensive outpatient programs, school based counseling and outpatient private practice. I treat individuals, couples and families. I also have facilitated a variety of psycho educational and psychotherapeutic groups.
As a life coach I have developed Intentional Living a program geared towards assisting clients in discovering their life purpose and creating purposeful intent towards their goals and aspirations. My slogan “Make it a great day!” is a reminder that all of us are in charge of our lives and that we can create fulfillment each and every day. I have written a workbook titled Intentional Living: Living Your Life with Purpose and Vision. This is a great self guided resource for identifying life purpose, dismantling obstacles that get in the way of living fully and practicing active intentional living. My program also offers an eight week group workshop and individual coaching sessions for those who desire deeper work and support in this area.
Most recently I, along with my colleagues Gerda Muyen, Richard Loebl, and Paul Blundell have created The REAL Courses. REAL is an acronym for resiliency; empowerment; acceptance; love. Our courses are educational and experiential in nature with the goal of enhancing these key traits. To learn more about these courses, visit: therealcourses.com.
Another colleague Amanda Patterson LMHC, and I, have created Succeed U a coaching program geared towards assisting high school students successfully transition and thrive in a college setting. The program offers an extensive needs assessment as well as targeted coaching to strengthen any areas that are of concern.
In working with me, you will experience a safe supportive relationship in which you can heal. My office is comfortable and appealing to the eye. We will take time to understand your current situation and identify clear goals. We will stay focused on those goals. Through your work, you will gain a deeper connection with yourself, a heightened understanding of your situation and movement towards your goals and desires. I will hold you accountable and address your resistance with understanding, love and support. We will cultivate growth together.