I completed my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. I grew up in Upstate New York, in a suburb of Syracuse. Like many of my professional peers, my interest in psychology unfolded from my own family’s struggles with mental illness. I attended college and graduate school in Maine, Montreal, and New York City.
In college I studied psychology, philosophy, literature, even tried Ancient Greek for a couple of semesters. I was especially drawn to literature and the novels of Dostoevsky, Henry James, and James Baldwin. I was also introduced and affected by the poetic writings of the psychoanalyst, D.W. Winnicott. I continue to be inspired by great literature and fiction; my favorite contemporary author is Haruki Murakami.
After attending graduate school in NYC, I wanted something more peaceful and worked for several years in Vermont and New Hampshire. In the summer of 1993 I came to Austin to begin my doctoral studies in Counseling Psychology. Previous to coming to Austin, I had not been west of Buffalo, New York or south of New York City. In addition to studying counseling psychology, I was also drawn to cultural studies theories and methods. As part of that emergent interest, I did a weekly radio show on KVRX, The Post-Mod Squad, a talk show on popular culture with two friends and fellow graduate students.
I went back east in 1999 for my internship and residency training and came back to Austin in 2004. Since that time I have worked for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System primarily involved in the treatment of combat-related mental health issues. At times struggling with the intensity of this work, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatization, I was drawn to mindfulness, particularly the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, as a place for my own well being and then incorporating these perspectives in my clinical work. I am deeply affected and humbled by my work as a psychologist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. I currently work part-time for the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic.
At the same time, as my early professional career unfolded, I developed a dream to have a small private practice. That dream was realized in 2010, when a dear friend let me use her office in the evenings. In June of 2011, I signed a lease for my own office. I love living and working in Austin, Texas.
I plan to use this blog to write about personal experience; my various clinical interests; and, the humanities, art, and popular culture. I am most excited and enthusiastic about blogging and having some fun writing on my own terms.