The world we live in provides ample opportunity to experience relational pain, confusing life experiences, and circumstances that expose growth areas and distortions in our perceptions. As the newest clinician to the Journey counseling team, I love the picture of our lives being a journey in which we face a variety of different seasons . . . winters of loss, stillness, and quiet reflection . . . spring times of new life and discovery . . . warm summers of growth . . . and autumns of harvests and the realization that life as we know it is coming to a close.
As a therapist who believes that healthy attachment and close relational bonds are significant to each of us being and becoming all we are intended to be, partnering with a counselor may be a stepping stone to learning to relate in healthy ways. I love the privilege of being able to come alongside my clients and partner to navigate their journey.
I am a native of the Shenandoah Valley and have lived all but 5 years of my life in the beauty of this area. I met my closest friend—who in 1980 became my wife—as a student at Bridgewater College before receiving my undergraduate degree in Social Work at Eastern Mennonite University in 1981. Nine years later, as a young husband and father of two young daughters, I moved my family to the Virginia Beach area to complete my Masters in Counseling at Regent University, where I worked and attended school full time. In 1995, I began counseling as a Licensed Professional Counselor and by 1997 completed requirements to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As an active member in my faith community, I became ordained as a Ministry Pastor at my local church, where I served for eleven years before moving to another congregation in Virginia Beach to serve for three years. After moving back to the valley in 2007, I began counseling in a local non-profit Christian agency and am now joining Journey Counseling. At this season in my life I enjoy: being a grandfather of two grandsons, section hiking the Appalachian trail with a good friend, having my own parents now share our home, reading, journaling, life coaching, regular exercise and landscaping.
I was raised in a two parent home as the middle of three sons. Sadly, I experienced sexual abuse by a family acquaintance at age ten that launched me into my adolescent years with a great deal of shame and confusion about these experiences. In my late teens, I encountered the transforming love of Christ and began to sort through my shame, confusion, and isolation.
I was blessed to receive counseling training in a program that openly discussed how faith and therapy can be integrated in practice. For the Christ follower, there is a storehouse of resources available to us, and a great counselor in the person of Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you find yourself in a difficult season and in need of someone to partner with you as you navigate this section of your journey. Maybe you are in a season of disillusionment, wondering if your marriage can survive a metaphorical winter. Maybe you’ve experience depression or anxiety and you’re wondering whether spring will come again.
Whatever has brought you to the Journey website, you may be standing at a fork in the trail. One path may lead to repeating past mistakes, the other to navigating new healthier season in your journey. I would be honored to partner with you.