Born and raised in Chicago, I decided to move to Colorado when I was 18 years old. Besides living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a time, I have been in Colorado most of my life and now live and practice in Wheat Ridge. I am happily married and busy raising a teenage son with whom I enjoy camping in our vintage camper. We love spending most of our time in the Arkansas River Valley near Buena Vista, Colorado, hiking and dirt biking—and we always look forward to entertaining with friends and family.
For the past 20 years, it has been my passion and profession to teach, perform, compose, and record music ranging from classical to jazz to rock. My musical journey has gone hand in hand with my own self-discovery and personal work. Not only has music been my passion—it has been a teacher. I would not be the person I am today without music. It has been my highest high and lowest low. For me, music is like breathing—something that I hope is always happening.
For many years, I was a part of a Men’s group called The Mankind Project, which helped me redefine myself as a father, partner, brother, friend, community member and as a man. This was a life-defining experience and put me on the path to supporting men and their personal work. The MKP redefined my integrity, my accountability and the power of my word. The understanding of and commitment to embracing a healthier masculinity has helped me go beyond my antiquated expectations for myself and helped inform my approach to counseling for men and couples. For any man reading this, I wish for all of us this transformation. And if it was possible for me, I really believe it is possible for anyone.
I am lucky enough to have had some great teachers and collaborators in my life. My friend/teacher/therapist Julia Diaz has been an inspiration and has sparked my interest in what it means to be a psychotherapist, especially as it applies to counseling for men. At the time I started seeing Julia, I was sabotaging my relationships, drinking and drugging to avoid my feelings and navigated my life through the lens of my toxic shame and guilt. After many sessions with her, I began to open up and heal, gaining strength and the tools to help me with my challenges. Julia was one of the most positive, happy and inspired people I have ever known. I realized there must be something to her way of life. She believed in finding a way to be in service to something. Her compassion and patience showed me how to serve others, besides myself. A big reason I am a therapist is because of the time I was able to spend with her.
Volunteering and service to others are important aspects of my life. Julia taught me that the power of “being in service” can help when you’re really stuck within your own story. Sometimes a perspective change only happens when you are willing to be in service to something that is not about “me and mine.” Whether it was assisting in the Special Olympics, Reading for Peace or having had the privilege of acting as a counselor for the Boulder EXPAND program’s Outdoor Adventure Camp, public service has enriched my life in ways I otherwise could not have imagined.
I have learned the most about life and counseling through my experiences of being a client, father and partner. I am an avid reader of therapy and self-help books. I’m on the same path of healing and understanding my inner world just as my clients are and I love to share the knowledge and inspiration that has been passed on to me. My greatest resource as a counselor was my experience as a client. So, often in session when listening to my clients, I remember my own experiences and it fills me with hope and compassion that we can heal and feel differently. As a father and a partner, my love and fear have both deepened. Life is short and there is risk in every decision, but my greatest personal success is learning to embrace my “essential self” by choosing to love, trust and take action in walking the path of truly living.