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The study and the practice of psychotherapy have provided me some of the most meaningful experiences imaginable. There is nothing quite so engaging as to walk with someone down a somewhat difficult path, apparently filled with any variety of problems, some of them causing despair, others just regular every day issues, and those experiences teach me and give me satisfaction. I like what I do. It is my belief that someone who is struggling, whether it is a serious mental illness, or a person who just needs to brainstorm about a problem they are experiencing, has a sense of what they are needing. I also believe the human spirit is resilient. We are able to learn and grow in ways that are just surprising.
I started my professional journey studying pastoral counseling at a theological seminary. After several years I went back to school and took a Master’s degree in counseling and was trained in an outpatient clinic at a psychiatric hospital in San Marcos, TX. In 1991 I started an outpatient practice at Cedar Creek Associates in San Marcos, and have been there for 26 years. Much of what I learned at the seminary was just run-of-the-mill Carl Rogers, Client Centered Therapy. I respect my patients. I learned later under terrific supervision about a variety of tools: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a systems approach to Family Therapy, Social Constructive Family Therapy and yes: A lot of Freud’s stuff I really like! All of which combines into an eclectic approach. I use any tool in the toolbox that works.
I am good at some things and better at others. I am referred to frequently for family therapy with adolescents and trauma related anxiety, such as PTSD. I have worked with hundreds of sexual abuse victims and I like to work with couples. I do play therapy; teach parents to be better at it, and help families to work together as a group better. I have also worked with organizations to provided Team Building and Team Communication strategies and practices. I have worked with companies, churches and provided workshops in a five state area for Early Head Start and Head Start teams. Most importantly, if something isn’t going well in the therapy session, most of the time we fix it. Talking about how it is helping or not is an important part of the process.