(If you're looking for my friend Spencer D. Sherman, the conscious
financial advisor, you can find him at www.CureMoneyMadness.com.)
Note: The third page of this site
contains audio files that you can listen to. The programs are a clear and simple introduction to mindfulness,
and may prove immediately useful in dealing with stress and difficulty in your life.
Welcome! I'm a Clinical Psychologist with a mindful,
positive orientation. Below are the primary services I offer and a brief description of each. The website itself is filled
with ideas and resources for your journey of healing, growth, and fulfillment. I hope you find it entertaining and helpful!
Personal Effectiveness Consultation and Life Coaching
My personal and professional interest has always and especially
been in health, wellness, self-actualization, and the heights of human potential. The happy news is that our society
is now understanding that psychologists do more than just deal with dysfunction. Consequently, many people come to see me
not because of any particular problem, but instead to optimize their already healthy functioning. They're interested in
what I can teach them about peak performance, about doing and being the best they can. Together, we create a program of setting
and reaching life goals. These goals may range from simply feeling really relaxed and stress-free all the way to
achieving something truly heroic. What is consistent in every case is my consultation about how best to succeed,
and ongoing review of what is actually being accomplished.
Examples of goals on which my clients are focused include
being a maximally effective corporate CEO, being a great parent, enhancing artistic creativity, achieving athletic success,
promoting physical recovery and full healing, making a major life change, finding more joy and fulfillment, maturing
psychologically, and developing spiritually. This goal-directed process is also highly beneficial for couples, families,
teams, and organizations, and I greatly enjoy working with these groups.
Mindfulness is the skill of living with consciousness and contentment
in the present moment. This contrasts sharply with the all-too-common experience of being depressed and anxious based on past
unhappiness and fear of the future. Mindfulness brings to psychotherapy the possibility of genuine release from remembrance
and replaying of earlier life pain, and provides a new perspective from which to appreciate today and create a welcome
For these reasons, mindfulness is rapidly changing how many
therapists think about themselves, their clients, and the whole psychotherapeutic process. The goal of therapy becomes not
just better coping with old and troubling emotional patterns, but true freedom and ability to choose joy and fulfillment.
In other words, mindfulness offers the promise of real health and happiness, not just partial symptom relief. This transformation
is by no means quick and easy. But the possibility of authentic well-being draws the mindfulness practitioner ever farther
along the road of growth. And all along the way are episodes of integration and intimations of wholeness.
Mentoring for Psychospiritual Development
Psychological healing and spiritual realization are two phases
of the same growth process. Many of us are making the journey from a less-than-fully-healthy self to a healthy self, and thence
to a greater self. Psychology has, to this point, primarly addressed the transition from dysfunction to adequate functionality,
and spirituality has treated going from adjusted to enlightened. But they are identically focused on our development,
and have much more in common than we have traditionally acknowledged.
One point of commonality is the emphasis on a guide or mentor as we make our way toward wellness and
oneness. The road has many turns, and getting lost occasionally is to be expected. At those times especially, and at all times
if possible, it is helpful to have wise counsel. Our evolution is fundamentally about increased connection. Connection
to a mentor is an important - perhaps necessary - ingredient for success.
Guidance for Growth toward Lasting Health and True
There exist two very different models of what psychologists
do in their role as healers. The traditional medical model is based on identifying disease/disorder and removing it to the
extent possible. Distressing symptoms are viewed as being without value. The effort is to get rid of them and restore
the patient to normalcy.
The more recent growth model, by contrast, views difficulties as necessary and valuable aspects of moving to a
truly empowered and fulfilled life. The painful symptoms are necessary because they motivate growth. With no discomfort, there's
no reason to change. The symptoms are valuable because they point to exactly where the growth needs to take place. They
are signposts to areas of necessary opening.
In the growth model, the
goal is not simply to return to a former level of adaptation, but rather to advance to a higher, healthier,
happier way of living. In this view, you are not a patient but rather a person-in-progress. You're not wrong or defective
for feeling as you do, and your suffering is seen as essential and meaningful. What you're experiencing is the pain of
shedding a skin, an identity that has become too small. Your difficulties are blessings in disguise (pretty good disguise!).
As Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher, was fond of saying, "The shit of your neurosis is the fertilizer
of your enlightenment."