Biography

I was born in Western Pennsylvania at the height of the post WWII Baby Boom, a fact that played a major role in shaping my values and life direction. By the time I was mid-way through high school, the decline of Pennsylvania’s iron-based industry led my father to seek employment in Detroit, where we moved in 1963. I subsequently attended and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology. I went on to graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University, where I completed the M.A. degree in Psychology in 1972. My psychology teachers and mentors at both universities were psychoanalytic in their theoretical and practical orientation. 

Having completed all the requirements for a doctoral degree except the dissertation, in 1974 I was hired at Michigan State University’s Counseling Center as a counselor and instructor. I worked there four years, counseling university students, supervising graduate students from the clinical psychology program, and co-teaching a case conference for interns at the Counseling Center. The MSU Counseling Center was a state-of-the-art counseling and training center founded by Don Grummon, my major professor and a close colleague of Carl Rogers. His client-centered approach became the second theoretical influence on my professional development.

l received the Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology in 1978, and moved to Oregon soon thereafter, finding employment with Multnomah County. I had a longstanding interest in working with people affected by chronic mental illnesses, which was the population served by this clinic system, but psychotherapy was not supported there as a treatment of choice. I soon moved on to a private rehabilitation agency serving injured workers. The kind of psychology practiced in rehabilitation agencies, known as medical psychology or behavioral medicine, is based on the cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment.

I consider myself fortunate to have been trained in three of the major theoretical movements within psychology, each of which appeals to a different aspect of my personality. I have woven practices and perspectives from all three schools together with my own ideas into a highly flexible, integrated therapeutic approach. In recent years, trauma theory has freshly organized my thinking.

I started a private practice in 1980 in Portland and have maintained it continuously since that date, adding a second practice location in Forest Grove. My professional activities currently focus primarily on providing psychotherapy and psychological evaluations.