When people ask you what you do they are really asking “who are you?” It’s simplistic to say that I am a therapist or a Christian or a dad or grandfather. I am all of those things but fundamentally I am I. All the things I do or have done are expressions of myself but they do not fully define me. I was a climber (although in my mind I still am and always will be), I play the guitar, I ride my motorcycle, I do lots of stuff. At the end of the day though, I prefer to think of what else there is to learn and do. What can I do now, and where do I want to go?

Functionally speaking, I am a licensed professional counselor, located in hip ‘n happenin’ Elljay Georgia, a small town about an hour north of Atlanta. My wife Saber and I have lived here for almost 17 years. We were active in our church, The Orchard (The Orchard Church) where I spent 6 years on the board (Why? some ask. Because it was necessary, and God has a sense of humor…)

We’ve been married 30 years and have two “only” children, Philip (from a previous marriage long ago) and Hayley. Our kids are incredible – real grown-ups, and we are very proud of them. We have three grandchildren, Emilio (Lio), Ellie, and most recently Oliver (Ollie) and one granddog, Teddy. It’s all we can do to not pack up the car and run away.

For fun I play the guitar, ride my motorcycle and drive the “go-kart”, a souped up little Miata we got recently. Living in the mountains every trip can become an adventure. Just depends on the route. Ooh, metaphor there…

Professionally I consider myself a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) practitioner. I don’t like the word “therapist” as I do not much care for therapists, having been to several in my life (apologies to the good ones out there!) but in DBT I have found real resonance in both theory and application, because Stevie’s 1st Law is “It doesn’t matter what you know, it only matters what you DO with what you know.”

I have been through several DBT trainings including Core Skills, Foundational, DBT-PE (for trauma), DBT-F (Family systems) and Eating Disorder specialization. 10 minutes into my first exposure to DBT I thought, “Oh, that’s what it’s called!” I was all-in from that moment.

I practice in several disparate environments; twice a week I endure the long journey to Norcross where I work with the Atlanta DBT team (http:/www.atlantadbt.com), an amazing group of people – my team. I also work with the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) teaching DBT to a terribly under-served population.

I also see a very small group of patients privately at my office in Ellijay. This practice is generally limited to intellectually gifted individuals, both adults and teenagers. I love working with gifted kids – they can be so misunderstood and in need of connection.

I also think about weird stuff, as evidenced by my blog posts. The bottom line, though, is that I am nothing more than a conduit for learning. Many years ago my prayer life became simple: “Father, bless me so that I may be a blessing to others.” I put no conditions on the form of the blessings (be very careful of what you pray for…) So if my suffering and (hopefully) subsequent learning is of value to others then bring it on!

Please let me hear from you! Read my blog and feel free to comment, criticize and abuse my ideas. That’s how I learn!

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