Bio & Focus Areas
The fit of client with counselor is crucial to a successful outcome.
Let's meet and discover if you and I might work well together.
I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFC 49499) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC1277). I believe that being a therapist is not only a vocation but a calling. I earned my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology: Marriage & Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA and hold an undergraduate degree in Christian Ministries from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN. I Love this profession and have been privileged to work with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, striving to consistently provide compassionate care in a non-judgmental environment. I have 40 years of life-expereience as a husband of one and father of three. I have dealt with the difficult life-stage of caring for and losing aging parents and also survived the ups and downs of operating small businesses for nearly twenty years. These experiences combined with my own upbringing in a dysfunctional family system and subsequent recovery process enable me to bring a depth of life-experience and personal understanding to my work with individuals, couples, and families. I am committed to providing a safe, hope-filled space for you to explore your experiences, gain insight, and progress toward healing and transformation from the inside out.
My professional experience includes six years at the the Center for Individual & Family Therapy beginning in 2005 as a practicum student, trainee, MFT Intern, and finally as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. I received excellent training and supervision at the Center enabling me to work effectively with a wide variety of people and issues. I also spent a year working with children as an Elementary School Counselor in an Azusa primary school and have also worked professionally with high-functioning adults with developmental disabilities. I enjoy working with folks of all backgrounds and ethnicities from mid-adolescence up.
Beside treating common issues like depression and anxiety my special interest areas include:
- AFFAIR RECOVERY-It is possible I treat both couples and individuals who find themselves dealing with affairs and have been a regular guest speaker on this topic. I grew up in a family that was significantly damaged by and recovered from infidelity. I know experientially that restoration is possible for many couples. Those who make it through the difficult and painful process of recovering from infidelity often build a stronger relationship. It is also important that children who are aware of parental affairs are not overlooked, as they often may be significantly impacted by these events. Whether you are committed to staying together and working it through, uncertain what you want to do, or seeking support and clarity as you negotiate the loss of the relationship you do not have to do it alone.
- Couples: I am a marriage-friendly counselor and love working with couples to help them establish (or re-establish) and maintain a strong, secure, and satisfying couple bond by teaching skills and actually facilitating deeper emotional connection experiences in therapy. My approach is based in Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy principles. I will work with marriage, pre-marriage, and re-marriage issues. I also treat sexual problems.
- Adult-Children of... I have a heart to compassionately help and support folks recovering from a variety of difficult childhood family situations, experiences, and traumas. These include Adult Children of addictions, divorce, parental infidelity, perfectionism, mental illness of parent(s), and abuse of all kinds (physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and spiritual).
- Overcoming Shame and learning to live a more authentic and wholehearted life.
- Personal Growth and Self Awareness: Ever wonder WHY you do and don't do the things you do and don't do--especially those unhelpful and repetitive patterns of relational failures and difficulties? Often these patterns or models are ingrained from early experiences and have dropped off the radar of our consciousness and now function automatically from their defended secret control room. Stop living a life mysteriously dictated by your unseen autopilot and reclaim your power to make choices "on purpose." I believe this is a key to long-term change and recovery.
- Internet Pornography and other Sexual Addictions: We live in a hyper-sexualized culture with instant access to pornography. Secret internet porn addiction and other sexual addictions are running rampant even amongst those whose stated values declare these to be destructive behaviors. If you are sick of being caught in the give-up/try-hard cycle of addictive sexuality we can work together to understand what your behavior is really about and create a path to freedom and healthy sexuality.
- Adolescents & Young Adults: Late adolescence and young adulthood can be a very challenging stage of development, a stage where it is easy to get stuck or feel overwhelmed. Solidifying identity, coping with educational demands, preparing for and negotiating launching, sorting out values, and relationship problems--parental and peer--are common struggles that can result in depression, anxiety, and sometimes addictions. I love working with this age group, providing safe, confidential space to work through problems and emerge successfully into adulthood.
- Creatives: Yes, I think we deserve our own category. Being one myself and also raising an arts and music family I have come to believe that we are not cut from the same cloth as everyone else. Many of us were sensitive kids and as adults find ourselves at particular risk for mood disorders such as depression and bi-polar disorder, anxiety related problems, self-esteem struggles, eating disorders, addictions, and difficulty regulating and managing our feelings and our lives. You don't have to be "crazy" to be a fully creative person.
- Pastor's Kids, Missionary Kids, and Ministry Kids: The pressures and expectations experienced by by kids with full-time ministry parents is unique and sometimes results in problems like perfectionism, performance based identity, depression, anxiety, shame, addiction, false self, burn-out, and disillusionment with church and God. Let's talk about your journey in the safety of a confidential therapy relationship where you can process your experiences honestly without fear of judgment of you or your parent(s).
A Personal Word:
Life is a Journey
Life is a journey and we all can feel a little lost or stuck from time to time. Positive personal growth and development are not automatic and we can easily find ourselves frustrated, stuck, and repeating the same old problematic patterns of the past.
It can be very helpful to have a supportive and empathetic other to explore your life experiences and decisions with.
Because many of our personal difficulties are rooted in relationships, they are often best resolved in that same framework. I believe that this is why the therapy relationship has proven to be significantly helpful and transformational for so many people. As a therapist who is a Christian, I begin with the assumption that God is always up to something in the life of each person I meet with and that his Spirit is present and active with us as we engage in therapy.
Hope and healing for you, your marriage, or your family relationships may be part of the next chapter in your life story. I would be honored to meet you and discover if you and I might work well together on whatever concerns have brought you to consider therapy at this point in your journey.
Please call me to discuss your needs and schedule a consultation appointment.
Individual Psychotherapy for Men and Women
Couple Counseling , Affair Recovery
Christian Counseling, Grief, Depression, Anxiety
Childhood Abuse and Trauma Recovery, Parenting Skills
Anger Management, Family Counseling, Addictions