I spent my elementary school years in the state of Utah. My parents enjoyed the mountains and often took us hiking, backpacking, rafting, and kayaking. I enjoyed the outdoors very much. My parents were homesteaders. They always had a small set of farm animals, fruit trees, vineyard, and garden. My Saturdays were often spent working outside. I wasn't very good at making friends in elementary school. I had a few close friends but I was very reclusive with others. My enjoyment was found in family and the outdoors. My father knew about herbology. He would often point out the herbs on the land. Hiking trips often included bringing herbs down from the mountain to later plan in front of the house.
I moved to Many farms Arizona in middle school. It was an interesting place to live. I lived on the Navajo Nation. I was one in six white kids in school and I was the smallest out of all of them. I met the meanest and the kindest people in those schools. My father was the scout master and he continued to take my brother and I backpacking and camping. I still think it is the best place in the world to go backpacking. There is nothing like seeing an oasis jungle in the middle of a desert.
In my Sophomore year my family and I moved to Missouri. My mother inherited some land out there. Until our move to Missouri, much of my parents homesteading had been on a very small scale. The move to Missouri moved it into a much larger one. We spent every evening, weekend, and summer working on the land. It took a lot of work to make it manageable, but it was well worth it. I did not do well in school. It was difficult to adapt to the rural Missouri culture. I ended up quitting public school and finishing high school through an online course called Citizens High School. There was a small group of teenagers who also were doing alternative school. We spent a lot of time doing high adventure activities together.
I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In my church young men are called to serve two year missions for the Lord Jesus Christ. I was called to serve in the Phillipines Illagan Mission. I learned to speak Tagalog and I learned to serve the Filipino people. I enjoyed my time in the Philippines very much. At the time I was there, fields were plowed by water buffalo, and harvested by hand. The majority of the people in my communities lived in bamboo huts. Television and internet was uncommon. Clothes were washed by hand down by the river. The people were kind and very open to learning what I had to say about the gospel of Jesus the Christ.
When I came back home I was broke. I saved up some money working cement for a kind contractor. I got an apartment and started going to school. My car broke down that winter and I did not have money to replace it. My sister had given me her mountain bike and that was my transportation from school to work. Eventually my mountain bike broke and I walked my way around town. I still think about how kind God was to me. I never got rained on while walking to school or work. The weather always took a break.
I married a Filipina that I had met in the Philippines. She was also a return missionary for the LDS church. We spent some time living in upstate NY near my sister and brother in law. During that time, I studied college online but it was a struggle to work full time and study at night. While in NY, my wife studied English at the refuge center. We met amazing people from around the world. We had our first child in NY
We eventually moved to Hawaii where I finished my BA in psychology at Brigham Young University. BYU-H is an LDS college. The professors strove to include religious beliefs in the curriculum. Only 20% of the students were from mainland USA. The majority of the students were from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The people were very kind. The spirit of Aloha truly exists there like no where else.
After graduating, I prepared to enter a masters program in family therapy. While preparing, I taught GED classes at a local community college. The students were very kind and the job was rewarding. It was a great opportunity to find different ways to help people learn. By that time we had our second child.
I got my masters in marriage and family therapy at Harding University. It took a lot of time and studying. I was only able to maintain a part time job. The people were kind. Harding was a Church of Christ University and the faculty and students strived to live a Christian life. The faculty strove to teach family therapy from a Christian perspective.
I started my career as a family therapist in southern Arkansas working for Millcreek. I worked as a therapist at the Day Treatment program. This was an alternative school environment for children who were too unstable to attend public school. I also worked with the inpatient program. The inpatient facility was for children who were to unstable to live at home.
I eventually changed employment and worked for Fordyce Counseling Clinic. I worked in the high schools and elementary schools. I worked with a broad range of children. Some the children were at risk of going to an inpatient facility and others simply had some trouble focusing. During this time, I spent a lot of time doing family counseling. I worked with parents on their own mental health problems. I worked with the families on the interactions that were maintaining the manifestation of the identified issues. Our third child was born while we lived in southern Arkansas.
My family and I later moved to Fort Smith. I went to work for Vista Health. I worked in the child psychiatric ward and in the outpatient facility. In the psychiatric ward I worked with hospitalized children who were at risk for killing themselves or others. I also worked with children who had long term behavioral problems. These children were often violent and had already been to outpatient therapy a number of years with little success. Later, I transferred to the outpatient clinic. In the outpatient facility, I worked with adults, adolescents, and children of all ages on a variety of different problems. I worked with adults on depression, anxiety, relational, anger, and addiction problems. While living in Fort Smith, I obtained a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University. Amridge University is a Church of Christ University.
I eventually left Vista Health to work for Day Springs. Day Springs was a community health clinic that offered school based and office counseling. While working at Day Springs, I worked with adults for individual, marital, and family counseling. I worked in the schools with adolescents and children. I worked with the adolescents that were on probation. I frequently coordinated efforts with juvenile officers, school faculty, DHS, and the family. I worked with children who were disruptive, inattentive, or emotional in class. I helped them to work through their emotions and manage their own behavior. I often tutored the children in their school work, because to some children their greatest stressor was feeling lost in the curriculum.
I currently work full time in Private Practice. I work with a variety of populations. I work in an office setting with adults, children, adolescents, and families. I work on marital, individual, and family problems. I administer psychological testing. I do a lot of work with families, helping them take a chaotic environment and making it into a peaceful home. I help the children and parents work together in identifying and solving the problems. I help them build behavior plans that help the family achieve their desired result. I help the parents work on personal and marital issues that are prerequisite to having a calm home.