M.S., M.A., Ph.D., CGP
My life experiences and my education have each honed me and have given me the skills and temperament to be a great therapist. I grew up in a large family–the oldest of my parent’s ten children. One might think that experience alone may have been all I needed to encourage me to become a therapist! (Physician, heal thyself!) 😉
After spending some time in my ancestral home in the Swiss Alps and finishing my undergrad degree in Psychology, I enrolled at Virginia Tech’s Marriage & Family Therapy master’s degree program. Two years into that three year program, I began what would be a six year Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Catholic University. I attended the two schools concurrently.
I don’t recommend concurrently attending two graduate schools while expecting your first child. That would be the NON-balanced approach to living! Needless to say, after nine years of graduate work, four children, and twenty-three years of marriage, I have come to embrace a philosophy of life balance–I know, right?! It only took half my life! That not withstanding, over the course of the 20 something years I’ve been in practice, it’s been my great honor to help others identify and pursue their own version of growth and balance to obtain the life they want.
I believe in the basic truth that we grow and learn life’s greatest lessons in the company of others. It is on this core philosophy that my practice is established.
We inherit many of our personal strengths and weaknesses from previous generations and we try to pass on to the next generation something just a little better. I am lucky to have inherited some of the positive traits of my ancestors. My great great grandfather immigrated to the United States from a small pastoral village in Southern Switzerland on Lago Maggiore. As a young man, he built a solid home for his family out of stone he quarried, and shaped from the imposing Swiss Alps.
The mountains offered both formidable challenges and life-sustaining opportunities for him. I believe my great great grandfather’s strength and ability to thrive despite significant hardship came from overcoming the challenges presented by the rugged, mountainous terrain. The mountains required strength and they made him strong. With his perseverance and drive, he built a life for himself among the mountains that was humble, balanced, and stable – much like the home he built that still stands today as a testament to his endurance.
He left his beautiful, familiar homeland because it wasn’t enough. There was a terrible famine raging. The person he was, the life he knew, was no longer sufficient to sustain peace and happiness and health for him and his family. I imagine it was gut wrenchingly hard for him. Perhaps many of us get into therapy because we feel similarly. We know something isn’t enough–isn’t quite right, but we don’t know what the future holds. It can feel terrifying at times to contemplate getting help or making needed changes. Sometimes it’s the hardships and pain that cause us to take the necessary action to make life better.
I carry forward a legacy of resilience, hard work, and dedication to personal growth In part because of my beliefs, values, and experiences and in part due to the examples of my ancestors, my family of origin, and my wife and children. I understand the importance of ambition and drive, and also the value of relationships to help us on our journey toward the life we want. When our efforts are based on principles of authenticity, vulnerability, and intimacy with ourselves and with others, we have much of what we need to achieve that goal.
Our life’s mountains require strength, courage, determination and hard work to overcome. It’s my honor to give you company on the journey to your summit.
- B.S., Psychology, Brigham Young University
- M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, Virginia Tech
- M.A., Psychology, Catholic University
- Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Catholic University
- Certified Group Psychotherapist, American Group Psychotherapy Association