What made you decide to become a counselor? What does being a counselor mean to you? These are questions that often come up as I speak with groups or individuals about the work that I do. The answers to these questions also reveal some things about me that might help you decide whether I would be a good match for you as a therapist. With that in mind, here is a little information about me.
When I first entered college in 1982, I did so with the intention of earning a degree in theology. Ever since my teenage years, I had volunteered in children and youth ministries. Earning a degree in theology and becoming a minister seemed to be a natural course of action for me. Part of the degree plan for theology students included counseling classes. It was during those early classes that I discovered that ministering to people in the counseling setting was the area of study that I was most passionate about.
Shortly after earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wayland Baptist University, I was offered a position as an adolescent substance abuse counselor with the Volunteers of America in Eagle River, Alaska. The seven years I was blessed to work with that organization strengthened my desire to continue as a counselor and taught me invaluable lessons that continue to influence my counseling style today. Working with adolescents and their families taught me to listen – not only to what is being spoken, but also to the unspoken messages that parents and children want or need to communicate. There was also a wilderness component to the program there in Alaska that I was asked to develop and facilitate. This program included extended trips into the Alaskan wilderness with groups of teenagers via white water rafts, skis, or hiking. These experiences taught me to slow down, be mindful of my surroundings, to adapt to the demands of the situation, to be more aware of the needs of those around me, and to keep things in perspective. I value these lessons; and they continue to influence how I relate to people today.
After leaving Alaska and moving to Texas, I began working with adults in a residential counseling program. While there were many differences in regard to the age of the clients I was working with, as well as with the setting I was working in, I still found there were some consistent basic truths in the counseling work. Whether I am in the wilderness of Alaska or in hospital/correctional facilities in Texas, effective counseling requires that I work to be mindful, adaptable, and aware, and that I keep things in perspective.
Having counseling experience working with adolescents and with adults, I then was blessed with the opportunity to add work with children to my experience. For over a decade, working with this wide variety of clients helped develop a well-rounded understanding of the issues that people face in all stages of life. Having balance in my private practice—working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families—mirrors one of the values I encourage with clients: developing and maintaining life balance through a lifestyle that supports physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth.
I look forward to working with you in your life’s journey.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
- Master’s Degree in Counseling
- Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S)
- Over 30 years of LCDC licensure
- Trained with Terence Gorski in Relapse Prevention