Depression, anxiety, mood disorders, thought disorders, addictions, and chronic mental illness can touch the lives of many people. These conditions can impact relationships, families, the workplace can challenge a person’s ability to navigate through life and to realize living life to its fullest. With over 20 years of work in clinical social work and behavioral health, including eight years working in addiction treatment, I help people to understand, accept, overcome, embrace, change perspective, and in some cases move beyond these life challenges.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning community has struggled, fought, and evolved over the last several decades to establish a voice and presence in our world. And LGBTQ people all over the world must constantly continue to fight to maintain this presence. Yet many folks continue to feel marginalized and disenfranchised, as the community must continue to bear the brunt of discrimination, attack, and hate. With over 30 years of advocacy, activism, and support within the LGBTQ community, I am proud to serve as a catalyst for change, so that people might rise up toward feeling celebrated, honored, and empowered. I am culturally competent to work with the unique and sensitive needs of LGBTQ individuals. Areas include, relationships, self-esteem, health, and gender identity.
Whether you are a Trans person who is transitioning, or you are struggling with Gender Dysphoria, or you are a gender fluid person who is seeking support, I am someone who can help you. I am a cisgender male, and for over 8 years, I have had the privilege of being involved in a variety of wonderful work with Trans folks in the community. I can help Trans folks who are transitioning with referral letters for Hormone Replacement Therapy and Gender-Affirming Surgeries. My clinical work is guided by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care for the health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-nonconforming people.
During over eight years of service in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, I have focused my work on the unique needs and perspectives of US Military Veterans who have served in all eras of military conflicts and engagements, including: War in Iraq, War in Afghanistan, Persian Gulf War (1991), Vietnam War (1962–1973), Korean War (1950-1953), World War II (1941–1945). I have helped to provide care to hundreds of US Veterans in the areas of mental health, addictions, aging, PTSD, combat exposure, Women Veterans, Military Sexual Trauma (MST), “Don’t Ask- Don’t Tell”, and Transgender Veteran concerns.
Loss can be felt after the death or disappearance of a loved one. Loss can also include the loss of health or physical function. Grief is the process of feelings, thoughts, and emotions that people pass through while coming to terms with a loss. Loss of a partner or spouse is often minimized or misunderstood for LGBTQ people who have experienced these types of losses. Society often considers these losses as less significant or somehow different than the loss of a spouse or a partner in a heterosexual relationship. I can help all people to work through the process of loss of a partner, spouse, a loved one, or a loss of health or functionality.
In collaboration with several colleagues, I conceptualized, designed and carried out an exciting research project entitled Somatic Experiencing® Informed Therapeutic Group for the Care and Treatment of Biopsychosocial Affects on Gender Diverse Identity. The research has yielded some promising indications that using Somatic Experiencing® informed approaches in a structured therapeutic experiential group setting can help to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, reduce negative symptoms of Gender Dysphoria, and increase resilience. This therapeutic group model can be repeatedly replicated, applied and used to help Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Gender Variant persons within communities. With tools and self-awareness gained, participating Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Gender Variant persons may become more hopeful and resilient to better manage the multiple challenges that inherently exist through experienced psychosocial barriers, discrimination and social injustice. The hope is that this group can help participants to feel less victimized and more self-empowered, to become stronger self-advocates, to become more educated, to build resiliency, and to build unity and decrease isolation. A journal article presenting and discussing the results of this project is due for publication in late 2017.