As a therapist, I have a rather unconventional background. I received Electrical Engineering degrees from the University of Idaho and spent nearly 20 years designing integrated circuits. Being an engineer was creative, but I wanted more out of my emotional life. I began to hunger for more capacity to relate and care for people, and so I made a huge shift in my mid 40s toward becoming a counselor. I now enjoy being able to help others toward becoming more balanced and alive.
I decided to leave engineering and start a graduate program in Relational Psychotherapy in the Seattle area in the fall of 2004. I studied how abuse and emotional neglect can leave scars on us that are sometimes hard to see, but still need attention. I studied attachment, and how early relationships can shape the way we relate later in life. I have a special interest in helping adults heal from having had narcissistic or self-absorbed parents.
I interned with the Mental Health Chaplaincy (Craig Rennebohm director) and while working with many people who were homeless, I came to understand how an important part of healing is learning to be compassionate toward ourselves. After graduation, my supervisors included Dr. Stephanie Neill and Cindy Wuflestad, LMHC.
After graduate school I began to understand more about anxiety and that it is helpful for us as busy people, to learn to be calm and present in our own bodies. I sought training in a lot of therapies that seem to speed up the process of healing because they consider not only our emotions and thoughts, but how our bodies and nervous system react to stress. I sought training in: Lifespan Integration Therapy (LI), Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Somatic Transformation (ST), Complex Integration of Multiple Brain Systems (CIMBS), and Attachment-Focused EMDR. Most recently, I've been influenced by the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz and his Internal Famly Systems (IFS) approach. I’ve also discovered how some mindful awareness can reduce feelings of stress.
I continue to attend seminars and trainings that help me help my clients recover from trauma and neglect and develop a stronger sense of themselves. I enjoy teaching clients things about the brain and nervous system that can be practical and helpful in everyday life.
I also believe we have a spiritual component to our lives. My personal background is Christian. I work with clients from a wide variety of different backgrounds, opinions, spiritual perspectives, and world views.
"The path that truly heals and redeems begins at the point when we realize we want more perspective, purpose, and passion in life."
Dan Allender in The Healing Path