I have been married for over 19 years, am a proud father of four beautiful daughters and one son, ranging in age from 18 to 9. I live in Abbotsford, BC and have done so for almost my entire adult life.
I lived in the West Kootenays, in a little village called Salmo, (we actually lived outside of Salmo in a ghost-town called Erie) until I was 13, when my family moved to the city of Langley, BC. This was a shock for me, as Fort Langley Junior High School had more students in three grades than the entire village of Salmo had citizens.
This was also the time when my undiagnosed ADHD and depression began to wreak havoc on my school performance. There were some very dark years in my adolescence and although I didn’t know it at the time, my experience (both personally and otherwise) with various mental health issues was serving to prepare me for a career in the helping profession. Many times I have drawn on my own experiences in attempting to relate to my clients and to communicate a sense of compassion and even companionship in suffering.
Following another bout with depression in late adolescence, I attempted to create some structure in my life and served a mission to Vietnamese refugees in the United States.
It was the most difficult and trying time of my life but proved to be a more than adequate training ground for problems that I would face throughout the rest of my life. During my first semester of university, I was married to my wife Tina, and following an initial miscarriage, we welcomed into our family the aforementioned tribe of children.
Initially, my career plan was to pursue graduate education in clinical sport psychology but during the preparation process for that step, I happened to find employment at a local residential treatment centre for adult men battling addiction to alcohol and drugs. It was here that I began to recognize the need for compassion and understanding in order to help people apply these same principles towards themselves and the world they inhabit.
During my time in the field, I have worked with a wide variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds, diverse ethnic identities, diverse socioeconomic situations, diverse mental health struggles, diverse spiritual leanings, and diverse sexual orientations. My wide variety of experiences has allowed me to have an individualist perspective, underscored by the importance of feeling loved and cared for, despite any differences in background or experiences.
My Master of Science degree in psychology focused on the neurophysiology of anger and anxiety and this has become my main focus on treatment, although using attachment theory as a foundation leads to visiting virtually every corner of the mental health spectrum.
Away from my field, I am also an avid songwriter, struggling artist, and have a diverse athletic background (although this is becoming more historic as time goes on).
So, that’s a little bit about me. I hope you experience me as a fairly open book and if you can relate to any of the information that you have read, please give me a call or send an email and we can begin the journey of self-understanding together.
When I was looking into counselling programs, I fell in love with a combined degree of counselling and art therapy. In my experience, there have been times when words fail, however, art can create understanding in a way that words alone couldn’t have. Art therapy works with the creative process to facilitate healing on multiple levels. While I believe that every person is an artist in their own way, my favourite part about art therapy is that you don’t need any artistic skills to benefit from it. I also understand that art therapy may not be for everyone, and providing choices is crucial in forming relationships, so what happens in the therapeutic process is entirely up to you. As a student in the field, I have worked in a variety of systems with very diverse populations. I have experience working with children, youth, young adults, parents, and seniors who have struggled with an array of mental health concerns.
Beyond counselling I am a watercolour and acrylic artist. When I am not busy painting, learning, or working, I love to travel. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to study and travel abroad, however, some of my favorite places can be found right here in our beautiful province!
Thank you for reading this far. Hopefully, something caught your eye, or perhaps there was something that you were able to relate to. If this is the case, please reach out to arrange a meeting. I look forward to speaking with you!