I grew up in the desert outside Las Vegas, and moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend college, and eventually earn a Master’s degree. I met a beautiful woman on the first day of school and was lucky enough to marry her. We worked our way through college and graduate school and had four awesome kids, three dudes and a little dudette.
My wife and I are both children’s mental health therapists, and although we don’t always know what to do with our kids, I am happy to help you figure out what to do with yours. I find goodness and hope in people, as well as their strengths. I like to help people see and experience these qualities in themselves and others. I like to help kids overcome trauma, cope with loss, and manage distress. I am a dude who loves his job because I get to see kids who were hurting heal and grow. I discovered my passion for helping hurting kids in 2001. That is when I accepted a job as a maintenance dude at a “receiving home,” also known as an orphanage. We figured out that my best skills are not well suited to toilet repair, so I was reassigned to the nursery.
I spent almost a year caring for drug affected, physically, and sexually abused babies and toddlers. I was inspired by the resilience of even the smallest and most brutally harmed child. I spent three more years working with kids in different recovery settings. I worked with kids convicted of violent crimes, adolescent sex offenders, and runaway teens. I saw different opportunities to pursue meaningful work by helping kids, and most enjoyed the family reconciliation work I got to do with kids who were running away from home. I loved helping kids and their parents talk with each other and heal their relationships. I spent more than 10 years providing mental health treatment to the most seriously emotionally disturbed kids in Clark County. I provided intensive family-centered treatment using a process called “wraparound,” and crisis stabilization services to kids engaged in suicidal behavior.
During this time, I learned to recognize and make use of child and family strengths. I learned that I do my best work with children when I can also work closely with their family. I earned my Master of Social Work degree in 2012. In graduate school, I focused my studies on child welfare issues and completed an advanced two-year practicum with the Department of Child and Family Services. I learned more about the effects of trauma and other adverse childhood experiences on kids of all ages, and about how “the system” works. At that time, I focused my practice experience on working with kids in foster care and at-risk of placement into group homes due to their behavior.
About You: You are important, interesting, and valuable. Your feelings and thoughts are important. You have a purpose and are valued by others. We all forget this sometimes, but I’d like to help remind you. If you think I am a dude who can be helpful to you, please contact me.