My Approach to Helping
I use EMDR and integrative-psychodynamic therapy to help you identify the root cause of your problems and address that, rather than focusing on symptom-relief by pushing pills or teaching coping skills. White-knuckling your way through life is no way to live. I am a very down-to-earth person who tries to balance being warm and supportive with being direct and challenging, when needed. I find that many people are looking for a therapist who will help them push themselves. So, it is my goal to create a safe space where you can then take risks to then face your fears and overcome them.
I believe that no one comes to therapy because "life was too awesome," as experienced by them. That is to say, I have found that when I can help a person drop their defenses and get real with themselves, they always start finding connections between their past experiences and their present problems. Sometimes those connections are obvious and sometimes they are subtle. No matter, when we can identify the root cause of your problem and help you face it and come to terms with it, you will change your life.
Besides being a father, husband, and son, being a therapist is the most important thing I will ever do with my life. I have dedicated years to being the best therapist I can be and I always am deeply honored when people choose to trust me with their best-kept secrets.
If you want, let's find 15 minutes to talk and see if I'm the right therapist for you.
More Info About My Practice
I view people's problems through the lens of trauma, i.e., the negative experiences that have shaped us. Sometimes, those experiences are obvious--i.e., rape, combat, childhood abuse--and sometimes they are subtle--i.e., feeling unloved or invisible. No matter, when these wounds go unaddressed, they are expressed as symptoms like depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
My experience has shown me that we can heal and grow from any of these wounds. We can come out the other side and find ourselves and be better for it. I think it's simply a matter of being ready to do the work and finding the right therapist to help you do it.
I offer individual and group therapy, as well as supervision. I provide in-person therapy in the Twin Cities of MN, and teletherapy within MN and 35 other states (and counting). Call to see how I can help you.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I grew up in a rural part of Michigan. Though I didn't experience any "big trauma," per se, I always felt a little alone and out of place and I guess that was enough to have an impact on me. When I got to high school, I was terrified and felt pretty alone and it was tough for a while, trying to fit in. But by my junior year, I figured out that if I did drugs and acted wild, I got attention and felt like I was cool. But, after a few years of doing this, it caught up with me and I was miserable: I couldn't sleep, I hated myself, and I was thinking of suicide. I finally broke down and talked to my mom, and she scheduled me to see a therapist.
The guy's name was Mike. I went in pissed-off and defensive. But, he saw past that. He knew I was lonely and hurting and had terrible self-esteem, even though I couldn't see it myself. Mike got through to me and changed my life and, at that time, I thought maybe I could be a therapist one day, too.
There would be a few more twists and turns in my life before I ultimately settled on being a psychologist. But, my experiences as a young man framed my perspective as a therapist: Everyone coming to therapy is dealing with pain, whether they know it or not. And, everyone can be got-through-to: You just gotta find the right therapist to do it.
Mike was the right guy for me. Call me to see if I'm the right person for you.