I moved to Western New York State when I was 19. I built a house, farmed, and started a small lumber company.
When I got tired of making little pieces of wood out of big pieces of wood, I went to Empire State College and got a degree in psychology. I interned at a Veteran’s Administration chemical dependency unit. My first job was working with troubled adolescents in a group home. I was an employment counselor for a while, took calls on a crisis line, facilitated group therapy for male sex offenders, and was employed as a therapist at a program for people with severe mental illnesses.
I completed a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on counseling from Alfred University.
For twenty years, I provided psychotherapy in a community mental health center in Rochester, NY, known first as Depaul, then St Mary’s, then Unity, and now, Rochester Regional.
I studied at the Family Therapy Institute at the University of Rochester, and completed a certification program in drug and alcohol counseling associated with SUNY Brockport.
I was one of a small group of people who developed one of the earliest programs to integrate mental health and chemical addiction (MICA or Dual Disorders) treatment. I have given talks and lectures in the community on the topic. I also worked at bringing tobacco counseling to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
I wrote and published several short stories and two novels, Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic and Intersections. In 2016 I published Constructive Conflict: Building Something Good Out of All Those Arguments. I’m a prolific blogger of articles on mental health and relationships, found here.
And I’ve raised a family of four children.
In 2010 I resigned from my job at the community mental health clinic to start a private practice.
I provide free counseling one day a week at Spiritus Christi Mental Health Clinic.