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Your time starts now...

Updated: May 11, 2023

I didn't know I wanted to be a therapist until I was in therapy. I have always had an interest in psychology but never saw it as a career path. I've had many different jobs in my life from picking up garbage in mall parking lots to being a recruiter for chemical engineers and everything in between. Looking back, while all these experiences have helped me become who I am today, it was a sign I needed help. My first therapy session was a disaster. I made the appointment because I just wasn't happy with me. I wanted to address the job jumping and my lack of real commitment. By the end of that hour, the counselor told me, "I don't see any need for you to come back, you seem fine." I made that appointment for a reason. Perhaps I wasn't as honest with him as I could have been. I also didn’t get what I needed.

Then the fire service called. I became a firefighter/paramedic and I had finally found something that genuinely interested me. I always thought it would be cool to be a firefighter but never wanted to work in EMS. When I started working on ambulances and fire engines, I learned I preferred medical calls to activated fire alarms. Working on an ambulance will teach you many things. One thing I learned is that so many people suffer from mental health issues. From depression, to anxiety, psychosis to grief and loss, these issues are ubiquitous in our society.

After years responding to these calls, I realized two things. First, we didn't always treat community members with empathy and dignity when they struggled with these issues. Me included. Second, we didn't treat other first responders the right way when we struggled with these issues. These realizations, combined with my love for how the brain works, pushed me to make a huge decision.

I was in a session with my therapist...probably my fifth since the first guy. I had already made some real progress in my own life at this point. I remember saying to him, "I think I want to do what you do." The counselor replied, "you should, I think you'd be good at it." I expressed that I didn't think I could pay for it. "Just take out student loans like everyone else," he said. Brilliant! So, I did. And in that moment, I flipped my hourglass and my time had begun. I changed my major, finished my bachelor’s degree and went out to graduate school. Twelve years later, I couldn't be happier with my decision.

I am passionate about helping people overcome their obstacles. I thrive on seeing people finding their direction in sessions with me, one hour at a time. The challenging work, however, takes place outside of the counseling session. I once made a joke to my wife, "If I had my own practice, I'd call it 167 Counseling Services." She asked why with a confused look, and rightfully so. "Because there are 168 hours in the week, if you have me for an hour, what are you doing the other 167 hours to make the changes you want to see in yourself?" Well, that name stuck, probably because of a lack of creativity or time crunch, but it stuck, nonetheless.

I'm guessing you found this page for a reason. I hope you found what you were looking for and feel comfortable letting me be a part of your journey. Another thing I learned from the fire service was that I don't want bad things to happen to good people, but they will, and I want to be there to help. That holds true to this day. I empower you to make the decision to find the life you dream of, and I am here to help you attain that.

Your time starts now...

First Responder Mental Health

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