I believe that relationships are the key to life. My passion is to deeply understand my client’s journey and through our therapeutic relationship to help my client live into the fullness of his/her relationships, and therefore life.
I began in private practice when I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1987. I joined a large group of psychologists in Pasadena, California and had the privilege of being supervised by Cliff Penner, a national expert in sexual therapy. I began specializing in the treatment of sex addiction and did many trainings around the country with such experts as Patrick Carnes and Mark Schwartz. I have led groups for men recovering from sex addiction since 1988. I have held the certification of Certified Sex Addiction Therapy since it was first developed and have supervised other therapists obtaining that certification for that same length of time.
In 1988 my five-year marriage hit difficult times and through a lot of therapy and support from family and friends we were able to rebuild our marriage. As a result of my own journey I developed a passion for doing couples therapy. I have studied and applied the couples therapy approaches of Harville Hendrix, John Gottman, Sue Johnson, and Stan Tatkin. Currently, I am in my third year of training with Stan Tatkin on his Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy.
We moved to Denver in 1994 and it has been my privilege to work with my clients through my private practice here. My training at Fuller gave me strong foundations in psychological models of family systems, behavioral approaches, and interpersonal approaches to psychotherapy. I believe that the therapeutic relationship offers a safe haven to explore what runs deepest within us. When we understand our patterns of our relationships, how we experience ourselves, how we reach out to or push away other people, and the pain that results in our lives, then we can see our way clear to create new experiences of relating. Insight into our patterns is only the doorway into a new experience of living. It is in risking a new relationship experience that we are transformed. When we experience acceptance and love we are filled. And we become willing to lay down our interpersonal defenses that have kept us safe from hurt but have kept us isolated and lonely.
I chose to go to Fuller Seminary to study clinical psychology because I wanted to integrate my psychological studies with my own faith as a Christian. At Fuller we received the best of both worlds: top-flight education in clinical psychology combined with the challenge to relate psychological theories and approaches to the larger issues of life and faith. I did my masters research on how families pass on health or dysfunction from generation to generation. My doctoral research investigated the therapies of three master family therapists: Salvador Minuchin, Virginia Satir, and Harry Aponte. I used an interpersonal model of interaction (the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior by Lorna Benjamin) to study how these master therapists helped clients to change. I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology and my Masters of Divinity degrees in 1987.
I find that I am able to help both Christians and clients of other faith experiences address these deeper issues of life as they work on the problems they are facing in their lives. As a therapist I attempt to empower my clients to experience profound change. The central process of this (using language which Carl Jung gave to us) is facing one’s shadow so that one’s gold might emerge. I believe that when we are honest with ourselves and with others about our shortcomings, that God’s redemptive power helps us to change and leave those shortcomings behind us. I view the therapeutic relationship as a “bridge relationship” into lasting community: relationships with partners, children, and friends.
At the center of my personal life is my family: Robin and our three sons. Robin is a professional musician and directs the spiritual formation ministry at our church. Our oldest two sons, Alec and Kevin, are both in successful careers and happy marriages. Our youngest son, Peter, is soon to head off to college. My favorite pastimes are volleyball, playing strategy games, woodworking, learning Spanish, and travel. I serve on my church’s Board of Elders and chair the Missions Committee. I have led about 20 international short-term mission teams to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nepal (including trips with Habitat for Humanity International).
My passion is to see men and women be all that they have the capacity to be in their relationships, careers, lives, and missions in spite of what they may have experienced in life. Life is a journey that we are not just to exist in but to love and be loved.
I began in private practice after graduating from Denver Seminary in 2003. I chose Denver Seminary after having watched two lay counseling ministries fail due to leaders hurting those in their ministries, I had been working in those ministries since 1997. I went to the school for Counseling Licensure to be better equipped to work with the brokenness of those in the church and outside of the church, with hurting people. In school I received excellent training in working with those dealing with sexual and relational brokenness as well as domestic violence victims, drug and alcohol addiction, child’s play therapy, and general counseling/psychotherapy. I learned how to integrate psychology and faith into a practical way of helping clients. I had sought out the earlier ministries for my own relational and sexual issues and now as a result of that support and other therapy have a passion to help individuals and couples grow into deeper intimacy with those around them.
I have trained under Patrick Carnes for sex addiction. I have attended EMDR (eye motion desensitization response) training to help victims of trauma and accident. I am also trained in EAGALA where horses are used for helping psychotherapy with individuals. I utilize many psychological theorists in my approach to helping clients, drawing from those that are best suited for the moment.
I joined the Intimacy Center in late 2003. After meeting Dr. Tom Olschner and finding that his passions for those who needed help relationally and/or sexually were similar to mine, there was no question that joining him would be a good place to work as a therapist. We are able to encourage couples to further their connection with each other and with individuals to press into healthy relationships.
In the past few years my experience has been in leading a group of sex addicts, leading a group of wives of sex addicts, counseling couples struggling with intimacy issues, women’s sexual issues, women and men struggling with gender identity, those who suffer childhood sex abuse, emotional intimacy in dating relationships, domestic violence victims, individuals who are sexually addicted and those who are married or dating to sex addicts, same-sex attracted strugglers, those suffering from depression and anxiety, trauma victims, and spiritual abuse victims. To empower men and women be all they have the capacity to be in relationships, in their accomplishments and in their well-being.
My personal life revolves around my family and friends. My favorite pastimes include traveling to beaches, playing in the Colorado mountains, coordinating and being involved in ministry at my church, and gardening. I am a third generation Coloradoan and love to visit other places but also coming home to the Colorado mountains.