So what is my approach to helping people in therapy?
The therapeutic approaches I use are many and are always geared to the client's unique needs. I believe the best therapists are also good anthropologists. My primary approaches are psychodynamic, family systems and psychospiritual. In every day language this means I help people examine their past, get honest about their present and begin to dream about their future.
How would I describe myself as a therapist?
The three words that clients frequently use to describe me are wise, direct and caring. Being competent and having the courage to challenge my clients when it's needed is as important as empathizing with them. They invest significant time, energy and money and deserve a good return on that investment. Therapy that gets results is about clients committing to the process and me not backing away from saying hard things. This is at the heart of my work with all my clients.
What clients do I enjoy working with most?
I would have to say that I feel most energized working with couples in conflict, men suffering from depression and people needing spiritual recovery.
I like the couples because I think I'm a natural mediator and they need firm direction to stop hurting each other. It's exciting to see them move from destructive communication to new ways of emotional connection.
Depression in men is often missed because they experience it as numbness or simply not feeling. When I can help men identify and express their emotions in either individual or group therapy the depression usually fades away quickly. To see men experience the joy of living fully for the first time is always exciting!
It is common for people to experience a crisis of faith at some point. This is seldom because they lack faith but rather because they are confused and need direction after a crisis. Much of Christianity,especially in our country, is an adolescent faith. This immature expression doesn't prepare us well to handle suffering.At it's worst it is a shame based religion that injures us both spiritually and emotionally. My experience and extensive training in spiritual direction has prepared me to help those who have been abused or neglected by the Church. These injured individuals need healing to experience God's love again.
John has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 30 years. He first practiced therapy in Southern California and now for the last 20 years in Nashville. His expertise includes Couple Therapy, Men's Therapy, Executive Coaching, Personality Disorders and Spiritual Abuse Recovery. John is also a seasoned Executive Coach and AAMFT Clinical Supervisor. He is an alumni of Fuller Seminary's School of Psychology, the Masterson Institute and the Manresa Jesuit Institute. He lives and practices in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife, Diane. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Women's Issues and Divorce Recovery. They have two adult sons living in Nashville and Washington DC.