This section is the primary reason I created this site. I want you to have a fair understanding of who I am as a person and more importantly, as a therapist. I want your decision to be informed with real details about who I am. Here goes:

Counseling Style

My approach to therapy is quite eclectic. This not only means that I use methods from many counseling theories and frameworks, but also that I use different therapeutic styles depending on your personality, where you are in the healing process and your age, gender, worldview, interests, etc.

I believe that I have a gift for helping people through very difficult situations including the complex dynamics in relationships. My gift is intuition. In general, that means that I have a deep intensity of perception. I can’t read your mind; that’s not what I mean. For me, intuition is seeing the connections between past, present and future, recognizing and identifying patterns, and helping people discover their ideal self.

Because I’ve been at this a while, I have also developed the ability to help my clients focus on here-and-now solutions. Sometimes people get lost in the swirling abstraction of emotions and thoughts that keep them stuck. Action is the key to change. Taking steps. Managing every moment. Making sound decisions.

I am compassionate. I am a feeling type, warm and affirming. But sometimes the help you need includes being challenged to evaluate how you may be accidentally, unknowingly perpetuating the problems in your life. My clients seem to truly appreciate my down-to-earth and straight-forward style. I don’t get fancy. I don’t use big words. I keep things simple and easy to understand, but my approach is based on a very proficient understanding of the best in personality theory and counseling methods. Many have commented that I seem “like a regular guy” but I always know where I want to take you in the process of therapy.

Education

I have a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Weber State University and a master of social work from the University of Utah. Sometimes people think they need a psychologist, but very few psychologists do counseling. Most therapists have a master’s level education. At the master’s level, social workers typically have the broadest scope of practice which allows me to treat every psychiatric condition. Although I am licensed to treat all types of mental and emotional and relationship problems, I only do so where I have specific training and experience working with the given situation. Other disciplines like marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and drug and alcohol counselors have limitations in what they can and cannot treat. So even if you don’t decide to work with me, I would recommend you work with a therapist with the LCSW license, although there are very good counselors from these different backgrounds.

Experience

I began working with people as a counselor in 1998. I have worked with at-risk and delinquent youth and their families in groups homes and detention centers. I worked in a halfway house with felons on parole, private mental health agencies, adoption agencies, and currently work full-time with one of the largest providers of mental health care in the state as my “day job.” I have been a director, clinical supervisor, and have worked with numerous master’s level students as a clinical supervisor. For 6 years, I taught master’s level courses in mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy at the nation’s largest private university.

Interests

My interests as a therapist include mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety and panic disorders, trauma-related disorders and addictions. I enjoy helping people understand what is happening TO them and INSIDE them as they find a way through it. One of the things I find most rewarding is working with couples and parents who need direction about how to best handle problems with their children, particularly teenagers.

Personal Life

I am a father of six amazing boys. Most of my time away from work includes activities with them like youth sports and scouting. I have been involved with the Boy Scouts of America as a youth and an adult leader. My first true love as a hobby is graphic design. I started college as an art major and have enjoyed painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and most recently graphic design with electronic media. I am an avid fan of college football and played linebacker on a football scholarship when I graduated high school.

My faith is important to me and I believe spirituality (in its many religious and non-religious forms) is a powerful and necessary part of good living, whatever you believe spirituality to be. I am a Christian and attend church regularly. More specifically, I am a Mormon (LDS) and served a full-time, two-year church mission to Perth, Australia. If Biblical perspectives are important to you, I am very comfortable integrating that into our work together, but I will never even bring this up unless you lead us toward the topic yourself.

In general terms, I believe spirituality can be defined as “connection” and I do tend to integrate the broad idea of connection in my work. Connection to self, others, nature and a higher power (if you are so inclined) are things that I promote. I believe gratitude, forgiveness, service, and hope are essential to healing. These are spiritual concepts at their core but play an important role in psychological and social health. The mind-body-spirit concept encapsulates my balanced approach to helping others.

Personality typology is a “hobby” in a way, and I have studied it for over 20 years. But more than a hobby, it has helped inform my understanding of people. From the 16 types model, I am an INFJ. “INFJs … tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while INFJs can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all (16personalities.com).”

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