Offering couples therapy intensives in San Diego

Practice Values

I consider psychology to be the study of the soul, and I believe there is no more vital area of study than our field. My goal is to use my knowledge of psychology worldwide to educate, encourage, and empower people to live their highest good. To that end, I am dedicated to developing relationship-building skills with couples.

Work Summary

I have spent more than fifteen years both as a college professor and providing counseling. My goal is to help people learn and function at an optimal level. As a clinician, I have worked with various populations, including college students, athletes, veterans, couples, amputees, inpatients, substance users, and persistently mentally ill clients. In addition, I facilitated Mental Health First Aid certification training for veterans, faculty, and staff.

As an educator, I have taught various college courses, including general psychology, human development, abnormal psychology, group therapy, psychotherapy III, teaching psychology, and supervising clinical graduate students and Teaching Assistants. I am an active community builder that has facilitated several workshops raising awareness about mental health and teaching resiliency skills in public and academic arenas.

I have been working since I was fourteen years old. My first job was laying concrete at home construction sites. After high school, I served as a sergeant in the United States Army for five of seven years. I’ve worked in grocery stores, sales, and finance earlier in my career, as well as a high school social science and history teacher in Miami, Florida.

My work experiences across the United States introduced me to America’s many faces and stories and helped me grow in perspective as a person.

Personally Speaking

I grew up in the great state of Michigan. Go Blue!

I moved a few times as a child and teenager but would consider Ypsilanti, Michigan, my hometown because I spent most of my formative years there. It has been said that Ypsilanti is the “Brooklyn to Ann Arbor’s Manhattan.” Ann Arbor has a reputation in the region as a bohemian cultural center, but many creative people have been driven out of the city to Ypsilanti due to rising real estate prices there. While originally known as the home of Domino’s Pizza, my hometown now is known as having a vibrant, underground arts scene.

“ABC’s Boot Camp”

In 1984, my kindergarten teacher informed my Dad I did not progress to first grade because “Nate doesn’t know his shapes, doesn’t know his alphabet, and doesn’t seem capable of learning them. He can be sweet, but his behavior is horrible; he hits other children; we think he’s slow.”

In the countless hours Dad spent with me that summer in ABC boot camp, I learned letters, numbers, colors, and other truths that shaped who I am as a person, teacher, coach, and clinician. I learned about focus, hard work, and perseverance.

Considering my experience working with clients struggling with life problems that appear irreparable, the most important lesson of that summer was learning that failure is never the end of the story. It is sometimes only the beginning. My experience taught me never to judge a book by its cover or the first chapter. That lesson provides an outlook that can change the trajectory of each therapy session. As a clinician, the experiences that prepared me to boldly take calculated risks, despite the possibility of failing authentically, enabled me to empower my clients to embrace their potential.

Leaving the Army

To what single thing can I attribute my choice to pursue clinical psychology? In retrospect, I recognize the difficult medical challenge I experienced during the last two months of my enlistment deeply impacted me.

The end of that chapter of my life was much more difficult than I was prepared for. Suffering unexpected medical complications left me feeling lost, floundering, and with no job or plan.

Fortunately, the foundational lessons from the ’84 summer taught me about resiliency and grit despite the odds. As I picked myself back up, my lifetime goal was forged. I  became determined to use my knowledge of psychology to help people live their greatest good.

The army slogan at the time of my service was “Be all that you can be.” I believe in the pursuit of happiness. The price for freedom is too high for us not to live as freely as we can.

My quest to help people live their best lives and thrive in their relationships is my way of honoring the fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and the dedicated time my dad took to ensure I did not fall victim to a broken system.

Who has inspired you?

My time as a teacher in the Liberty City area of Miami, Florida, gave me a greater appreciation of the systems and community influences on students and all people. During my time in the military and as a secondary teacher, I was inspired by many great leaders and educators, too many to name. The sentiment I took from those inspirational selfless leaders is the value of serving with a purpose and refining your gifts to maximize your capacity to contribute to a better tomorrow.

Clinical Office

My office is located in Del Mar, California, steps from the beach. Del Mar is about 20 miles north of San Diego. Del Mar Village has both a small-town comfort, and a natural beauty. It attracts tourists who come for its pristine beaches, excellent restaurants, great shopping and boutique hotels. It also has spectacular ocean views.

Del Mar is home to the renowned Del Mar Racetrack and San Diego County Fair each summer.

Professional Presentations (selected)

  • Trainer, Practicing Cultural Humility. The WV Behavioral Health Workforce and Health Equity Training Center, Marshall University Behavioral Health Equity series. July 14, 2021.
  • Trainer, I am Who I am: The Journey of a Black Psychologist. Careers in Mind Symposium, University of California San Diego Counseling Department of Psychology, May 3, 2021.
  • Presenter, The Suicidal Mind, Marshall University, April 5, 2019.
  • Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Training for Sports Medicine Staff at University of Akron , May 20, 2017.
  • Speaker, The Importance of Scholarship , Tau Kappa Epsilon Sigma Alpha Chapter James Noel Triangle Achievement Finalist Banquet, Florida International University, August 25, 2014.
  • Speaker, Remembering Our Lost Veterans, MDC Wolfson Campus Memorial Day Ceremony,   May 23, 2014.
  • Facilitator, True Colors Workshop: Finding Your True Colors  Spinal Cord Injury Support Group (SCISG) of Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital, April 2014.
  • Facilitator, Leadership Training for Executive Board Members, Amputees in Action (a Miami based amputee support group) at Jackson Memorial Hospital, March 2014.
  • Co-presenter, Suicide Prevention, MDC Access to Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program (ASAP), November 2013.
  • Presenter, Differential Diagnosis, Understanding the DSM and Building Communication, A Psychological Perspective, Social Science Lecture Series, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 2011-2014.

Select Community, Mentorship & Volunteer Awards

  • 2023 Superstar Award– Mental Health First Aid America for Achieved during tenure as Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of California San Diego; accepted for  dedication to Civic Engagement and creating awareness about mental health and wellness in San Diego through curriculum integration in his classes on behalf of the UCSD Psychology Department
  • 2018 Golden Apple Award – SUNY Canton Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Award for inspiring a recent Phi Theta Kappa inductee to achieve academically.
  • 2014 Spirit of Service-Learning Award Commendation Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida and Miami-Dade Teacher of the Year Coalition.
  • 2014 Presidents Volunteer Service Award – Gold Level Points of Light Foundation. The Presidents Volunteer Service Award at the Gold level is awarded for completing at least 500 volunteer hours during 12 months.
  • 2013 Service-Learning Faculty of the Year, MDC Wolfson Campus Exemplary integration of community engagement through service-learning and first Wolfson faculty to create opportunities for student appointments as embedded class service-learning leaders.
  • 2013 Feather in Your Cap Award, MDC – Connect2Complete (C2C) Program. Recognition of valuable support and in honor of innovation and success in curriculum-based civic-infused mentoring.
  • 2013 Faculty Award – Abilities Awareness Day Award ACCESS Department, MDC Wolfson Campus Recognition in appreciation of outstanding contributions to students with unique abilities.
  • 2012 Rookie Service-Learning Faculty of the Year; MDC Wolfson Campus Recognition of outstanding new service-learning adopters who demonstrate a commitment to innovative community engagement.

I invite you to join me in Del Mar, north of San Diego to conduct your private couples therapy retreat.