My Goal as a Christian Counselor
As people formed in the image of God, you and I were made to live, to love, to laugh, and to experience intimacy with God and with each other. We are relational beings, created with God-given needs. We spend our lives seeking to fulfill these innate needs, often in ways that can be quite dysfunctional in nature.
I see my role as a counselor being to help people discover God’s original design for them and to assist them in sorting out their lives and bringing them more in line with God’s original plan. My hope is that God would use me as a vessel to help people heal wounds, to learn to meet their God-given needs in a healthier way, to more fully realize their potential, to discover and utilize their God-given gifts and abilities, and to live their lives with increased joy and freedom.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
I offer you unconditional acceptance and a safe place in an atmosphere that is relaxed, warm, caring, and inviting, where you can open up the pages of your life without feeling like you’re going to be rejected or judged. Based on my decades of experience working with people, I offer understanding, support, and assistance when you come to me for help.
The look and feel of individual sessions could vary greatly from one session to the next depending on your needs and what’s happening in your life. Sessions could include me taking a lesser role by simply allowing you space to vent and talk through issues, or me taking on a more active role in collaborating with you in processing through and examining thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, exploring healthy alternatives, and discussing effective strategies in order to achieve your goals.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
Since God created us relational in nature, I believe that relationships are the most important aspect when it comes to the process of counseling. As such, I tend to take a fairly holistic approach, inviting clients to examine the health of all their internal relationships related to their thought processes, emotions, and behaviors … as well as all the external relationships in their lives, too (faith, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and so on).
There is no one else in the whole wide world like you. You are a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art that God Himself fashioned with great care. I firmly believe that each person – including you – has been created in God’s image with a specific purpose.
In the years since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, God has placed many hurting people in my path. He has used my own past experiences with pain to help me sympathize with, learn, and grow from the struggles of others. With humility and compassion, I’d love to tell you how Jesus changed me, and how He can change you, too.
Qualifications & Experience
I earned my M. Ed. in Guidance and Counseling and my B.A. in Religion (Theology) with a Minor in Psychology from Whitworth College (now Whitworth University) in Spokane, Washington, and my B.A. in Social Studies from Western Washington University.
My work experience includes nearly 14 years in the Social Service and Counseling field, with a great deal of experience counseling children, adolescents, and adults. I have worked with at risk youth at treatment centers and foster care programs, crisis intervention, homeless young people, and adults through an outpatient community mental health center.
I have also served as a clinician, treating clients who struggled at varying degrees with issues related to grief and loss, trauma, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, anger management, addiction, and a host of other mental, behavioral, emotional, and spiritual issues.
My Call to Christian Counseling
From a young age, I’ve always had a heart for people and for service. I finally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 20 years old. From that point on, learning about and serving God wholeheartedly was really all I truly cared about.
During my Junior and Senior years at Whitworth, I was part of a student-led ministry that did outreach to people living in the lowest income hotels in Spokane. Through that experience, I came face to face with the challenge of communicating the good news of God’s grace and transformative power to people who were often saddled with years of pain, tragedy, and disappointment. I have come to realize over the course of my lifetime that God created me to be a counselor and gave me spiritual gifts to be used in helping people become more attuned to God’s original design for their lives.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
I have been happily married for 22 years, and my wife and I have three very active boys. I enjoy following professional football and baseball, reading (particularly science fiction and fantasy), studying history, religion, and science (especially astronomy), computers, watching movies, camping, backpacking/hiking, fishing, and (like all good Washingtonians) good coffee.
I’ve been fairly active in my church throughout the years, having been a youth group leader, singing for services, being involved in drama, leading and being a part of Bible studies and fellowship groups, and teaching Adult Education classes.
- Individual Counseling
- Marriage Counseling
- Couples Counseling
- Premarital Counseling
- Family Counseling and Parenting
- Relationship Issues
- Men’s Issues
- Women’s Issues
- Aging Related Issues
- Career Counseling
- Spiritual Development
- Anger Management
- Depression and Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Sex and Pornography Addiction
- Grief Counseling
- Trauma and Loss
- Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and Domestic Violence Issues
- Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders
God has gifted me with a heart for people. Over the years, God has blessed me with countless opportunities to help people of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of settings. He placed me in some of the most challenging situations and with some of the most challenging issues known to society. Though I have clinical knowledge, experience, and a measure of skill, I would have been able to do nothing apart from the work of the Holy Spirit within me. More of Jesus and less of me has always been the true secret of my success. It would be a privilege and an honor to assist you in learning how to effectively deal with and conquer your challenges as well.
Couples and Premarital Counseling
Statistics tell us that 1 in 2 marriages will end in divorce (that’s true of Christian marriages, as well). Given that reality, it is so important to fully know both the virtues and vices of your spouse and yourself before deciding to make your union permanent. I can help you start on the right foot by exploring God’s blueprint for marriage with you and by assisting each of you in identifying your goals, ideas for marriage and family, and potential stumbling blocks to a successful and fulfilling lifetime relationship.
The institution of marriage was God’s original design for intimacy, family, and deepening our understanding of God Himself. Marriage and family are the foundations of both the church and our country. But today, work, the internet, social media, alcohol, substance abuse, past trauma, communication problems, and the general busyness of our culture’s fast-paced lifestyle are all forces that can threaten to fray that cord of three strands (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Getting married is far easier than staying married, though. Allow me to help you fully realize the intimacy of the one flesh relationship by assisting you in understanding God’s design for marriage, exploring and understanding each other’s emotional needs, identifying barriers to communication, and working with you and your spouse to remove obstacles to oneness.
Grief Counseling/Trauma and Loss
I think that grief, loss, and trauma have in one form or another marked nearly every client that I’ve ever counseled throughout my lifetime. Grief and loss have not only been companions of my client’s lives, they’ve been an integral part of my life as well. After a loss, it can be extremely hard to pick up the pieces of your life and begin to experience living again. Allow me to journey with you in helping you make sense of things — to find meaning, purpose, and begin to mend your heart through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Depression and Bipolar Disorder are conditions that I have extensive experience with, as I’ve worked with many clients over the years who have struggled with these issues. Battling the periodic highs and lows can be a challenge, but it’s one that can be successfully managed. We will work together to identify the root causes of your depression and emotional triggers, and gain effective management skills. I offer you my service and expertise in helping you learn to live a life characterized by increased freedom and joy.
Family can be one of the greatest gifts that God bestows upon us, but due to the reality of sin, it can also be one of the greatest sources of pain and frustration. I’m a family man myself who has worked with children and families for over two decades. I would love to help your family strengthen bonds, work through problems, improve communication, experience more fun together, and come to more fully realize the mutual love and respect for one another that the Apostle Paul outlines in Ephesians 5 and 6.
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):
- Oak Harbor – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals,Couples, Children, Adolescents, & Families 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.
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, couples and families.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts 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 fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.