I spent much of my life making poor choices before understanding what it means to live for Christ. Because of my story, I don’t feel above others but rather walk alongside them. I think my clients can sense that, and as a result they feel safe because they realize I know what it’s like to make mistakes, struggle to change, and wrestle with regret. If you can relate, I would love the opportunity to listen to your story and share with you how God has helped me and can help you, too.
My goal is to help my clients feel safe, seen, heard, and understood. I hope my clients will gain a deeper understanding of who they are, their strengths and weaknesses, their gifts and unforeseen opportunities as we work together on whatever issues and concerns bring them to my office in the first place. I believe positive change is possible with God’s help, and I’m honored to be able to watch Him work in my clients’ lives.
I listen much more than I talk, but I don’t just sit there! I believe our sessions should feel like a warm conversation in a safe place, not a medical examination. I offer empathy and space for you to unload your burdens as we work together to help you experience a deep and lasting sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment in life. Whatever struggles you’re facing, you don’t need to endure them alone. Hope and help are available.
My faith informs my practice in a number of ways. Faith is personal, not just some object to be learned. I believe insight into God, self, others, and the world unfolds through relationship. Being a Christian is largely about being loved by God then going to God to be loved. Receiving His love can be one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian walk. In session, we’ll discuss how this relates to the issues at hand, and how it can make all the difference in our outlook on life.
Please don’t hesitate to give me a call and come in for a risk-free initial session.
I do look forward to meeting you and would be honored to be part of your healing journey.
I received my M.A. in Philosophy from the University of South Florida in 2003, with a concentration in Phenomenology, Ethics, Environmental Ethics, and Critical Thinking. In 2015, I became certified as a Conflict Coach and Christian Conciliator through the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker Ministries (now called ICC Peace). I earned my M.A. in Counseling (cum laude) from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2016.
I have always enjoyed working with people, whether through my teaching experience or while working with a multi-ethnic musical group, resolving backstage conflict between the performers, as well as helping various performers one on one with personal conflict.
In 2008, my pastor walked me through a painful separation from my first wife, using principles out of the book The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. I was so helped by these concepts regarding biblically-rooted conflict resolution that I decided to pursue Certification in Christian Conflict Coaching and Mediation and subsequently completed a degree in Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary.
Although I was raised in a Christian home, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of salvation until my late 20’s. For several years I wondered why God allowed me to wander in “the wilderness” for so long. It wasn’t until I started coaching couples on the brink of divorce in long-form intensive settings that it all started to make some sense.
With each person I sat with, I heard a piece of my story spoken back to me. Often these were people sharing regretful actions and memories for the first time. As they shared, and as I sat with them in their grief, pain, anger, and confusion, the question – why, God, did you let me wander for all these years? – got gradually answered: so that you can connect with them.
I have been married to Bridgett since 2009. Our son, Jude, was born in 2015. I love writing, music, yoga, outdoor activities, and enjoying good food and film with friends.
My personal attributes and experiences inform my counseling. Going through a divorce had a huge impact on me, as it taught me how to grieve and how to connect with others who are grieving and hurting from relational struggle. I was married for 14 years and to my high school girlfriend. We had a son two months after I graduated from high school. I went to the church for help and was told to make a public confession to my youth group, which led to me being ostracized from my church and the object of gossip. I walked away from church for 10 years and tried to find God in all kinds of ways, so I have a huge heart for the “de-churched” – those who have a hard time fitting in with their spiritual communities but still love Jesus and want to follow Him.
I will work with you and your partner to go deeper than the offense, to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, the meaning for each of you, and what each of you have done with that meaning. I will help you to see more clearly not only the root cause of this particular unfaithfulness or affair, but how to prevent it in the future. Together we will work to help you understand not only how to forgive one another, but suffer together and understand more plainly how being hurt can often manifest in surprising and unpleasant ways. God works all things together for good, this included. There is a way through. Would you let me help you find it?
Anger, like the tongue, can be a consuming fire. It burns not only those around us, but us as well. What is your anger like? What triggers you? Where do you feel it in your body? Does anger arise in you from a particular thought? A phrase or word or tone from someone else? Is it physical? Mental? Emotional? All three? Come to see more clearly than ever before where this anger comes from. Understand it, manage it, and tame it. Let love overcome it, and speak from a place of peace, not war. This is easier said than done! I would love to walk with and help you.
“Be anxious about nothing,” we are told by Jesus in Matthew 6. And yet we do worry. About the house, the house payment, the kids, our parents, what they think, how it went. You think about how impossible it is going to be to get done all that has to be done today. People are counting on you. Or they never see the good in you. Which came first? The anxious feeling or the anxious thought? How can you find peace in the midst of all of this? How can you learn to rest in the assurance that "God has you," even if nothing changes? How can you experience a peace that surpasses understanding? I would love to serve you as we work together to find it.
So many couples struggle. Two people together who are uniquely made, with different stories, old wounds, deep fears, different defense mechanisms . . . Let's just say sometimes conflict can be the norm rather than the exception. Where are all of those arguments coming from? What's your "type," your "love language," your "core fear," your go-to for safety? There is hope. We can work together, and I can help you see yourselves and each other as you are. Wouldn't it be nice to get beyond what is wrong? Your relationship could be so much more. Will you allow me to help you grow it?
There are seasons in a spiritual life. Just like in everyday life, leaves generate, turn color, fall, and vanish. Sometimes our sense of God's presence can be like those leaves. It is so good when you feel Him near, so hard when you call to Him and hear no answer. I believe we who are in Christ were saved not just to be changed from one individual into another. I believe we were saved to be a people on mission for Him, feeling His joy, showing His love, seeing with new eyes, loving one another in an astounding way. Spiritual growth is upward (toward God), inward (toward ourselves) and outward (toward the Creation and others living as part of it). How can you begin to feel the joy of His presence again? I would be honored to help you on your journey.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Marriage & Couples, Adults and Adolescents looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment the full fee per session is required at the time of service. For more information regarding standard session fees, please contact me directly at (253) 238-0739 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) a majority of insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services as an Out of Network Provider. Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover individuals, marriage & couples, adults and adolescents.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a receipt for services rendered, I will provide either a printed or digital receipt for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A 2.7% swipe fee, or 3.7% + $0.15 key in fee, will be added for credit card payments.
Therapies: Michael offers for Individuals, Couples & Marriage, Adults and Adolescents.