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M.A., University of Maryland at Baltimore University, Baltimore, MD (Social Work) 1992
B.A, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD (English) 1989.
State of Maryland
Licensed Certified Social Worker, Clinical #08514
I view working with couples as having a ripple effect on all other relationships including children, extended family, and community. A good example of this is seeing how relationships are impacted by addiction. The first casualty in substance abuse/addiction are always the intimate relationships.
Because a couple is the fulcrum from which other relationships bud and blossom, nurturing the couple is a way to nurture the nurturers.
It is not the appearance of problems that concerns me but how we manage them. Relationship problems are a part of life; and couples are bound to have problems and conflict. My goal is to help my couples to have better conversations about them. However, couples can end up fighting themselves instead of fighting the problems. I offer a space for couples to understand each other, which is especially important today in the 24/7 environment that we live in today. The world distracts us and prevents us from taking the time to really look at and talk to each other.
Fully Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist
"In general, most couples are not concerned about the theory. They just want the couples therapy to be effective. In a crisis people aren't looking for just dialogue. They want someone who can understand their problems quickly and give clear direction."
American Association of Marriage & Family Therapist
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Diplomate – Academy of Cognitive Therapy
Advisory Board, Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids (SPEAK)
My wife, Marianne, will tell you there isn’t a job I haven’t had, and this was true when I was younger. That was before I fell in love with cooking and became a professional cook/chef. It started by my working in a small restaurant/hotel outside of Interlaken, Switzerland as an apprentice. I have worked in both the French and Berner Oberland region of Switzerland as well a short stint in England.
Anyone who has worked as a chef can tell you that the hours take a toll on a relationship and at the time, I had two young children. About thirty years ago, I turned to social work.
I've worked in a variety of mental health settings over the years e.g., halfway houses, mental health worker in psychiatric hospital.
Now I work with couples and, because of my substance abuse background, I'm referred couples where substance issue impacts the relationship. I also see couples in recovery post rehab, same sex couples, and couples impacted by infidelity.
In some ways, alcohol abuse and infidelity are related issues. There are elements of trauma and betrayal in both. I tell couples that I know a way to address these issues. I can ride the wave of their experience by providing them an anchor used to talk about these problems.
I take particular satisfaction in working with couples repairing their relationship from the edge of the abyss. These couples are on/off the edge and when one makes a shift, the other responds. They want the support and will blaze a new trail with the right help.
I often tell couples I tie together their hard work. That's the focus of my efforts. It is a maxim that I believe to be true.
Couples can be very vulnerable in therapy; it feels sacred that many share things in my office that they would prefer not even to admit to themselves.
The only criteria I tell a couple I need to do my work is their desire to repair the relationship.
I like just about anything that is active. I go to the gym about 2 to 4 times a week and I enjoy group fitness classes as well as work with a trainer about once a week.
Skiing, working out, scuba diving and riding motorcycles. My wife and I enjoy living near the water, and we enjoy cooking and entertaining.
As much as I like the gear associated with my hobbies, it can be costly. And they are hard to do without planning ahead, not something I can do regularly on a whim.
Skiing ranks the highest. I find the cold invigorating and still have the ability to ski down mountains. Some of my children and my son-in-law share this passion and so I like to enjoy this sport with them.
Scuba diving ranks high.
I play on a softball team that has been playing together for 32 years and have participated as a team member in intervals throughout this time.
(past & present)
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
- Field Instructor
University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
- Field Instructor
- Clinical Instructor
Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
- Provided live supervision in family therapy for graduate students
The Gottman Institute
- Level I and Level II Therapist Trainer and Presenter
My office is in a quiet bucolic office area of Baltimore called Greenspring Station. I'm situated in an office building but the area is a 35-year-old planned community complete with hotels, restaurants, and mall shopping.
It is a comfortable 15-minute ride from the popular area called Harbor East right on the water.
My office is inviting and warm and it often has fresh flowers. My wife calls me the "flower whisperer" because I can extend the life of a bunch of flowers longer than anyone she knows.
My walls are filled with my wife, Marianne's artwork made especially with my input for my office, along with cozy sofa and love seat. I spend a lot of time there, so I want it to reflect who I am.
Baltimore is postindustrial city that is formed by many different neighborhoods. Baltimore’s unsung hero is its diverse architectural designs such Peabody Library or the Bromo Seltzer tower. It is a city in contrast where high concentration of distressed-impoverished neighborhoods live alongside and prosperous neighborhoods. These newer, revitalized areas are bringing wealth and vitality back into my city.
My office is centrally located and easy to reach, at the intersection of 695 and 83 and parking is ample.
I'm one of 8 children. My mother was an interesting and resilient woman who maintained a fairly positive outlook on life. She received a degree in biology in the early 1930s and never used it until she became a single parent back when I was 8 years old. Even after becoming a teacher, her focus was always on her children.
Earlier in her life, my mother was in the first formal ballet company in Baltimore. She, along with her best friend, Vera Hax, were offered the chance to dance in Paris, France for a year. Vera did go to France; however, my grandmother told my mother that this was something young women just did not do. She and Vera remained friends their entire lives.
My mother died in 2002 at the age of 88.
I see myself as easy going, approachable and friendly. I am loyal and tenacious, and I stick with things once I get started. There is more to learn, and I like having a goal or working towards something.
I also take feedback well, because people have insights to offer...ones that I can’t always see on my own and I'm curious. I can be witty. I love a good story or joke. And I can diffuse difficult situations with humor and by remaining calm.
I am straight-forward, but not in a bombastic way. I can be impatient, however. I can just seem too "on point" at times. However, this can be useful in getting to the core of something.
I speak conversational German and Spanish and often I go to this small restaurant with Spanish speaking employees just to chat a little in Spanish.
I like the neighborhood I live in called Upper Fells Point and it is near the water. We really enjoy how eclectic the neighborhood has become.
Every Friday my wife and I go out to dinner. Occasionally, we also enjoy vegetating and bingeing on TV series.
I love reading books, especially the feel of them; I won’t read a book online. It is hard for me to part with books. I especially enjoy spy novels. My daughter and husband live close by and we see them often now that we have becoming grandparents. Having grandchildren is a delight.