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Communities and Wisdom Streams

MY FIVE COMMUNITIES AND WISDOM STREAMS

            Whatever is universally true will come down through a wisdom stream into the communities where I live.  Each community speaks its own language of truth.  I have lived and learned in each of these communities for most of my life.  I vet my facts and principles by learning to see them at work in all five communities.  Therefore, I can teach most any psychological truth in any one of these five languages, allowing me to use whichever ones my clients will hear.

  1.  Christian faith and biblical wisdom — I still believe what I learned as a child, that this is the best source for enduring truth.  I serve as an elder and teacher in the Presbyterian church in which I was raised as a fifth generation member.   I have taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spent 30 years as a teacher and elder in the Disciples of Christ tradition, and taught repeatedly at Southeast Christian Church.  I have remained active in a twice-monthly home-based Bible study group since 2005, and my wife and I spend four days a year at a lake house in Iowa with three other clinical psychologists who are strong believers.

  2. Social sciences — I have excelled at all three things that clinical psychologists do:  therapy, testing, and research.  I have worked with 7000 clients in my office, including 1500 marriages and over a hundred families.  I have had two books published, written eight professional journal articles, published two personality tests, served as the ethics chair twice for my state  psychological association, and served as the workshop chair twice for an association for Christian counselors.  I have presented my own research in a one-hour presentation to the American Psychological Association convention, and founded a group practice that at one time employed over a dozen counselors in five different professions (New Life Counseling Center).

  3. 12-step recovery — I have worked an active program of sobriety and recovery from alcoholism and codependency since 1986, and one day at a time, I continue to do so.  I have attended over 200 meetings, and I have worked through the 12 steps three times with three different sponsors.  My three certifications from the International Institute for Trauma and Addictions Professionals equip me with research-based recovery tools for helping addicts and their loved ones recover from trauma, betrayal, and addictions to chemicals, behaviors, or people.

  4. Agrarian wisdom from nature — I was raised in an agricultural county that is near both Louisville and Lexington.  I spent many a night on farms growing up, and I have lived in this community all my life when I wasn’t away in college or graduate school.  Since 2002,  I have lived in a 3-room log cabin surrounded by a mile of woods on all sides, with a view of the horizon 50 miles out in three directions.  We are outside all the time, maintaining the natural beauty and quiet of our little forest paradise.  Agrarian themes are at the heart of my second book Growing Your Love Life, and of the novel entitled Sorghum I have been writing since 2011.

  5. Life Stories — I was raised next door to both sets of my grandparents, and we all went regularly to the same church.  Because I’ve stayed in my small hometown, I’ve heard lots of wonderful stories including many instructive ones about my family and me.  Since I moved back here 45 years ago, I have continued to play competitive tennis and basketball every week with the same groups of guys, and I have spent over sixty years active in two local church families.  All of those circles keep telling me stories to remind me of all the stupid and wonderful things we have experienced together.   I have heard many life stories unfold in my office, and I’ve logged hundreds of hours of my own individual counseling and supervision to help me keep learning from my own story.

About Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD

Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD is a psychologist life coach with offices in Louisville and Lexington, KY, 502 633 2860.