Jeremiah 29:11 clearly reveals God’s plan for our lives: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I look forward to working with you to better understand the ways God is blessing you as well as the areas where there may be some blockage to the sunlight of the Spirit.
I am trained in contemporary psychoanalysis. This means that my goal is for you to not only feel better but to be better as well. By helping you to tolerate the ups and down of life and better understand your methods of coping, I can help you to feel more in control and more fulfilled.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
My goal is for you to gain increased insight into the origin of your concerns and learn practical techniques to help you experience a greater sense of freedom with regard to your circumstances. As your counselor, I will seek to genuinely understand your situation so I can offer an approach that meets your individual needs. I will provide practical steps for you to emerge from your unwanted circumstances toward overall wellbeing in Christ.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
God made every person uniquely and I tailor my approach to the needs of each client.
As Carl Jung said, “The shoe that fits one person pinches another . . . .” I have experienced much of the same stress and trauma in my upbringing that is often described by my clients. Former clients have shared that my approach seems more empathically attuned rather than distant, objectively separate, or neutral with regard to the therapeutic process.While we share a professional relationship, I am genuinely with you in whatever you are going through.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
As believers, we desire to grow in our relationship to God. We know from the Bible that three main things separate us from God: 1) the workings of our own unrenewed mind; 2) the world; and 3) Satan. Understanding and working on our own unrenewed minds is critical to leading godly lives and striving to be more like Jesus. Romans 12:2 says, “Be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Counseling provides a safe and consistent place where you can express yourself freely. In Christian counseling, you have all these benefits as well as knowing that you are speaking with a fellow believer walking the same faith path.
Qualifications & Experience
I have been counseling professionally for the past 26 years in a variety of settings and roles, serving very diverse populations.
I am currently a candidate for a PsyD in Psychoanalysis from The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. I hold a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, an M.A. in Psychology from Duquesne University and a B.A. in Psychology from Western Washington University.
Other qualifications I’ve earned include:
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (License # LH0007704) (WA)
- Chemical Dependency Professional (License # CP60721362) (WA)
- Child Mental Health Specialist (CMHS), Ethnic Minority Mental Health Specialist (EMMHS) (Black & Native American) (WA)
- Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) (License # 510442) (National)
- Washington State Certified Clinical Supervisor
- Registered Psychologist (License # 2012832) (CA)
- Psychologist (RP Registration #0007704) (Philippines)
- Psychoanalyst Training Candidate (Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles)
My Call to Christian Counseling
When I was a child I was very interested in dreams and asked my mother if there was anyone else interested in such things. She responded, “Yes, they’re called psychologists.” I rushed to the phone book and looked under “P” for “Psychologist” and began calling down the list of names. (I didn’t know anything about having to set up an appointment, payment, etc.). Someone actually answered the phone and I told him about my interest in dreams. He said, “I don’t know much about that, but there was a guy names Freud who did. Go to the library and look him up.” I did so and never looked back.
Since then, the Holy Spirit has guided me to many places, from the most crime-ridden cities to numerous Native American communities to hospital emergency rooms, and beyond. Working in this field is my calling and I continue to enjoy how it unfolds and the people whose paths cross mine.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
My work led me to Southeast Asia, where I fell in love with my (now) wife. We have a one-year-old daughter together and very much enjoy living in Spokane.I have been counseling professionally for the past 26 years in a variety of settings and roles, serving very diverse populations.
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Individual Counseling
- Counseling for Children
- Counseling for Teens
A host of studies clearly indicate that many of the vulnerabilities we experience in adult life come from developmental stress and/or trauma. The context for such stress and trauma is most often linked to our family of origin. In our sessions together, we will seek to untangle the knot of what is bothering you by examining the relational dynamics of your family upbringing.
Counseling for Children
Counseling children often actively involves the parents. It is important to work intensively to understand where the disruptive childhood behavior comes from and how to best contend with it. With the outcomes of the Adverse Childhood Event (ACE) studies, we now know to ask, “What is your story?” or “What happened?” than to pose questions about what the child is doing wrong. Working from a collaborative family systems approach, we will partner together to gain a better understanding of context in which a child may be acting out. Doing so facilitates a family environment that is more conducive to the child’s learning, development, and growth.
Counseling for Teens
Teens are coming into my practice with higher degrees of trauma than ever before. It is startling what teenagers are exposed to at such early developmental stages. It is almost always far beyond what their parents know or guess. In my therapy with teens, I often seek to work with any adverse childhood events they may have experienced as well as coach them in some more productive, Christian values.
Complex trauma describes both a child’s exposure to multiple traumatic events—often of an invasive, interpersonal nature—and the wide-ranging, long-term effects of this exposure. These events are severe and pervasive, such as abuse or profound neglect. They usually occur early in life and can disrupt many aspects of the child’s development and the formation of a sense of self.
Since these events often occur with a caregiver, they interfere with the child’s ability to form a secure attachment. Many aspects of a child’s healthy physical and mental development rely on this primary source of safety and stability. If you suspect you may be experiencing this, it is important to come and speak to a Christian counselor about it. There are successful treatments that can either reduce or possibly eliminate your trauma symptoms.
Addiction includes but is not limited to substance dependence. It can also include addiction to sexual enactments, work, money, possessions, or relationships. Working through an addiction often means discovering the underlying conditions that created this vulnerability. Doing so tends to lead to a greater freedom and ability to experience relationships and life in general.
I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Couples, and Groups looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment the full fee per session is required at the time of service. For more information regarding standard session fees, please contact me directly at 509-203-7729 or [email protected]
Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), most insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals, and couples.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.