One of the lessons I’ve learned in the more than 25 years I’ve been part of the helping and healing professions is that, when it comes to guiding someone on the path of self-development, the most important thing is the relationship. It’s not about degrees or modalities or, sometimes, even experience. It’s about being able to connect and relate to another human being on their unique journey with compassion and non-judgment.
My own journey started when one of my early mentors, a rather wise Xavierian brother, suggested my choice to go into the Catholic priesthood might be less than ideal. It wasn’t so much that he thought I’d be unsuccessful—in fact, quite the opposite. His concern was that the rigid structure of the Church hierarchy would present a challenge for me. That’s longhand for “You’re too rebellious.” When he asked what else I might be interested in doing and I mentioned counseling he said, “Next best thing.”
That same summer, an acquaintance gave me a copy of The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha and since then I have straddled the fence between psychology and spirituality. In fact, my blog on Psychology Today, Enlightened Living: Meaning and mindfulness in everyday life, which has had over three million unique page views, focuses on the intersection between those two traditions. This tandem perspective gives me a unique outlook on the human condition, the challenges we all face and how I can help others who may be struggling.
From a practical standpoint, I spent many years working in the corporate sector doing management reorganization and employee assistance. That experience has, in later years grown into an expertise in executive and business coaching. I later served as the clinical director for a private, alternative K-8 day school, where I was responsible for helping develop a psychoeducational behavioral management program formally cited by the state Board of Education as “what should be a model for alternative education throughout the state.” During this time, I maintained a private practice, working with individuals and couples, was connected with a group practice for almost a decade and for a number of years served as a clinical case manager for a private rehab hospital.
My take on this life is pretty simple. I do not believe we are broken things that need fixing. We are, rather, whole healthy humans who are sometimes confronted with challenges we are not yet equipped to manage. When we face those challenges, we can often benefit from the experience, perspective and reframe provided by a mentor, counselor or coach who can hold space for our pain and support us in our own journey.
Thanks for stopping by and, if you’ve found something here that resonates with you, I’d be happy to offer you a free 15-minute consultation to see how we might work together.
Counseling and coaching in Bucks County PA, as well as nationally and internationally via telephone and online. Call me today at 267-225-7553 for a FREE 15-minute consult, or to set up an appointment. You can also text me or contact me via the website.