I enjoy working with couples and also with individuals. I have spent extensive experience working with men, and also with adolescents and young adults. I am myself a military veteran, and have a deep understanding of military culture, including the effects of combat-related trauma, which is helpful in working with combat veterans seeking help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Addiction Recovery – One of my areas of specialty is addiction recovery. I am passionate about supporting others in their journey to heal from chemical dependency and substance abuse, as well as other addictions, such as gambling, sex and pornography addiction, etc. I have worked in various addiction treatment environments, using various interventions. Many on the path of recovery have been frustrated by traditional 12 step approaches, and have struggled to find suitable options. My experience working in structured addiction treatment programs is that there is no one correct way to recover from chemical dependency. However, there are some key features associated with successful recovery that cannot be ignored, faked, or attained via shortcut; A restoration of balance, well-being, personal integrity, and life’s purpose are all necessary facets of a potent post-addiction lifestyle, and therapy can support you in your journey toward developing these.
Men’s Issues – I also specialize in men’s issues. I have spent considerable time learning about specific challenges relating to / affecting men in American culture. One problem that has been receiving lots of attention these days is the epidemic of suicide and overall declining health and happiness of American middle-aged men. As decades of shifting gender roles, family structures, and career paths have unfolded, many men across recent generations have been deeply impacted in their ability to make sense of their identity and inner world. Men have increasingly become socially isolated, disconnected from their emotions and their sense of purpose. It is possible with the right support, to formulate a modern mature masculinity that is built on balance; A balance of strength with vulnerability that facilitates integrity, authentic living, and bold action, while prioritizing love over competition. For several years, I have been dedicated to my own journey of reformulating the rigid, emotionally stunted “John Wayne” masculinity modeled to me by my father’s era. To that end, I spent many of those years involved in the local men’s group community, engaged in structured and non-structured personal growth activities, and eventually serving in leadership and facilitator roles at various gatherings and weekend retreats.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction – I have spent several years practicing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness in my personal life, and I have had the opportunity to spend many weeks in silent residential retreat, while working closely with meditation teachers in various Buddhist traditions, including the Theravadan (Thai Forest) Tradition. I have also received extensive training specific to MBSR ( Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) developed by Dr. John Kabatt-Zinn and University of Massachusetts Medical School. I frequently apply specific techniques related to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in my therapy practice, and MBSR is very effective in facilitating trauma recovery and addressing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Multi-Cultural Awareness: This is a challenging time in the United States for various social groups. As a long-time social activist, I have spent years learning about and advocating for the most vulnerable members of my community. I am sensitive and welcoming to the needs of the LGBTQ community, and clients who identify as LGBTQ. Also, as a Latino therapist and the son of immigrants, I feel well qualified to share the unique perspective of therapy clients who identify as persons of color or were not born in the United States.
Note: I am an apprentice registered with CASOMB, certified to work with clients addressing various issues related to sex and porn addiction. This area constitutes a major part of my practice.