Why am I the Comfortable Counselor? My passion is to help people feel comfortable while helping them. People often have an idea of what they think therapy is all about, because they’ve heard things from friends and family, and we’ve all seen enough television and movies to get the idea that only crazy people need to see a counselor. Only people who can’t keep their crap together need a counselor. Only weak-minded people need a counselor. Frankly, the list could go on and on, and it’s all about one word: stigma. That stigma sounds something like: I must be broken or weak or losing my marbles if I need to go to a therapist or a counselor.
But I am here to tell you that that is simply not true. You are not broken or crazy or weak; on the contrary, one of the strongest things that a person can do is recognize that they need help, and then, to ask for it.
So will you be comfortable seeing a therapist like me? Who knows? I’ll tell you what I am about and then you can decide if I am the right person for you.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME: I’m a middle-aged guy. I traveled around South America for a couple of years. I was a Spanish teacher for a few years, sold insurance for a few years, and did a couple of other things for a few years. But none of those were really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was when I started working at a methadone clinic that I decided to go back to school to become a therapist. While I was in school, I worked with clients with all sorts of behavioral and unique challenges, and I realized how many people really need help of one kind or another. There’s no shame in it, just like some people have high blood pressure or eczema or are color blind.
Ultimately, I decided to become a therapist because I enjoy helping people. I felt like I could make a lasting contribution to other people's lives because I, too, have dealt with my own personal baggage, and I’ve had a lot of experience going to therapy myself.
My life has been far from perfect. I grew up around people who were addicted to various behaviors and substances, as well as people who struggled with various mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, I’ve lost some very dear and close family members to addictions, as well.
I am divorced. I am remarried. I have children of my own and through remarriage. I have varying types and levels of relationships with those children. Some of them are good. Some of them are getting better. All of them, to varying degrees, define this crazy thing we call love.
I have an ex and all the issues, challenges, ups and downs that come along with having an ex. I have had my own challenges with anxiety and depression, as well as occasionally just feeling stuck on the treadmill of life, seemingly going nowhere. But all of the experiences give me perspective and insight into the trials of life that other people are going through, and I think that makes me a better counselor.
I especially like working with guys, because I think guys need help just as much as anyone else, but are less likely to have a network of confidants and are less likely to reach out. But I do work with women as well, so no one is excluded. Why? Because we all need each other, in some way or another, to get through the sticky parts of life. So, if you’re a wife, a mother, a sister, or a daughter and concerned about the man or men in your life, there’s room for you, too.
And what do I do to stay sane myself? Lots of things. I hike, bike, run, swim, kayak, and sing in a barbershop quartet. I love live music and traveling anywhere I can afford to experience live music. I volunteer my time to good causes, and always make sure to keep a sense of humor about life.
Does this collection of paragraphs answer all your questions? Probably not. If you want to know more about me and how I do things, just come see me. My approach to counseling is simple: This is your life. I already have my own life (and my own therapist). You’re in the driver’s seat, so tell me where you want to go and how you want to get there. We’ll figure out your course together and map out the direction you need to head.
So put your feet up and relax. Welcome to Comfortable Counseling.