First things first, why did you become a therapist?
I'm sure I could psychoanalyze that question to death and bore all of us to tears, so maybe the better question is, "why am I still a therapist?" The answer to that is that therapy, in particular the quest I undertook to inhabit the role of therpist authentically, has taught, and continues to teach, me what at the beginning I didn't even know I wanted to learn: to truly love who and what I am. For that, I have tremendous gratitude and respect for all who choose to be involved in the endeavor of personal transformation. The following quote sums this up nicely.
“The Basic work of health professionals in general and psychotherapists in particular is to become full human beings and to inspire full human beingness in other people who feel starved about their lives” -Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche, Full Human Beingness
Most importantly, I enjoy it! I learn so much from the people I interact with, and the process can actually be a lot of fun.
Why mindfulness or “presence-based” therapy?
I explore this more fully in the section on "Presence-based Therapy." But for here, my first answer is that it is the only approach that spoke to me on all levels, heart, mind, and soul. My second answer is that everything else psychotherapy-wise seems to only serve as a band-aid and doesn't get to the real wound: The speparation we feel from ourselves and world around us.
Where are you from?
I did most of my growing-up in the midwest, aside from some childhood years in the southwest.
What’s your academic background?
Undergraduate degree from UW-Madison in 1993.
Masters and doctorate in clinical psychology from The Minnesota School of Professional Psychology.
Pre-Doctoral Fellowship - Indiana University.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship - UW-Madison Counseling and Consultation Services.
What’s a PsyD?
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Focuses highly on the clinical application of psychology with less emphasis on conducting research than a PhD.
In what settings have you practiced?
College counseling settings for the first 6 years, then private practice since about 2008.
Have you ever transcended space and time?
Space, but not time.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Do you act like a psychologist?
Apparently not. I just told my barista that I was a psychologist and she gave me this surprised look and said, “Really?! I would have never guessed!”
I pretended I was offended, but really, I was so flattered. Nicest thing I’ve heard all day. I think I blushed.
What do you do, then, when you’re not playing at being a psychologist?
Hang-out at coffee shops enough to know the baristas, apparently.
I enjoy mountain biking when I feel so motivated.
I’m learning to play the electric bass. Definitely not going to be retiring from psychology anytime soon, but it's a lot of fun!
Read deep and meaningful books. And shallow, pointless ones. I take that back, no such thing as a pointless book.
If you talk with me for long, you'll learn that I definitely enjoy some shows, movies, and podcasts! There's some really great stuff out there. Art isn't dead, it's just a little hard to find sometimes.
I relish the time I get with my son, friends, and my cat, Raji.