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Education and Credentials

Masters of Science:
Marriage and Family Therapy
Seattle Pacific University, 2009

Bachelors of Science:
Marriage, Family, and Human Development
Brigham Young University, 2006

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #1102

Clinical Fellow
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 2006 - Present

 


My Story

I didn't start out with the intention of being a therapist.

Truthfully, my earliest recollection is that I wanted to be a forest ranger up in a tower watching for wildfires.  That didn't last though and by high school I had an idea that helping people for a living was what I wanted to do.

I've helped people in a variety of places and in many different roles.  I've volunteered my time as an EMT on ambulance crews and dive rescue squads, as a truancy mediator for school districts, and as medical/communications support for a mountain rescue crew.  I've worked in daycare facilities and assisted living homes for the elderly.  I even dispatched 911 to put myself through my undergrad.

In the end though, all of those experiences have brought me to where I am now.  I love what I do as a counselor because therapy makes a difference in other people's lives in a way that is profound and that has rippling effects in their lives. 

When I'm not in the office, I enjoy reading everything from fiction to history.  I also enjoy spending time outdoors while geocaching, camping, hiking, or fishing, especially with my wife and four children.


My Approach

I make use of a variety of methods, skills, and techniques as I work with clients and these often differ based on what challenges each client has in their life.  Some clients need more work around practical skills, some more with confronting flawed thoughts and assumptions, and others need to just talk about difficult times in life.

While those needs may vary, there are three core beliefs upon which I base all of my clinical practice.

You’re a person, not a problem.

I’ve seen so many people who let themselves be defined by the problem they are facing and forget who they are.  I help my client to remember themselves as they deal with their struggles, to remember what is good about them and to remember what it is they want in their life.  When you remember how much there is to you and how strong you are, suddenly your problems aren’t as overwhelming.  It’s my job to help you remember you!

It isn’t emotions that are good or bad but rather what we choose to do with them.

We are emotional beings (yes, even us men).  When we try to deny that about ourselves, try to ignore them or brush them off, we end up betraying a part of who we are.  I encourage my clients to accept their feelings and to let themselves experience them.  Even more importantly though, I help them to see the consequences, good or bad, of how they choose to act in response to those feelings. I gently confront and encourage my clients as they develop this emotional maturity and insight that is so crucial to healthy living.

Healing happens in the context of relationships.

While people have all sorts of responses to being hurt, betrayed, or embarrassed, the action when we are seeking to heal is almost universal: we reach out.  We reach out in the hope that another will be there to offer what we need.  In my office, I stand with them as we face their challenges, helping them to laugh when things are just too much.  I provide them a safe place to reach out to another person so that they can feel heard, be understood by another person, and know that they aren’t alone in their weak or painful moments.