MY FIVE COMMUNITIES AND WISDOM STREAMS
1. Christian faith and biblical wisdom — I have enjoyed 35 years in two local congregations, the Disciples of Christ into which I maried, and the Presbyterian church in which I was raised as a fifth generation member. I served both as a teacher, elder, pulpit search committee member, and chairmain of the Personnel committee. I have taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, remained active in an interdenominational home-based couples Bible study group since 2005. My wife and I spend four days a year at a lake house in Iowa with three other licensed Christian counselors. I will be joining Southeast Christian’s new Shelby County campus once it is fully and safely open.
2. Social sciences — I have succeeded at all three things 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 the Kentucky Psychological Association, served as the workshop chair twice for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies International, presented my own research with a one-hour presentation to the American Psychological Association convention, and founded a group practice that at one time employed over a dozen counselors (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, continue to do so. I have worked through the 12 steps three times with three different sponsors, and attended over 200 meetings. My three certifications from the International Institute for Trauma and Addictions Professionals equips me with research-based recovery tools for helping addicts and their loved ones recover from trauma, betrayal, and addictions to chemicals, behaviors, or people. I have been active as a member and in leadership with Celebrate Recovery through Awake Ministries.
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 I have been writing since 2011, entitled Sorghum.
5. Life Stories — when you stay in the small town where you and your parents were raised, you hear lots of wonderful stories including many instructive ones about yourself. Since I moved back here 45 years ago, I have continued to play competitive tennis and basketball every week with the same group of guys, and I have spent over seventy years active in two local church families. Both of those circles keep telling me stories to remind me of all the stupid and wonderful things we have experienced together. My clients have told me their life stories in my office, and I have logged hundreds of hours of my own individual counseling and supervision so that I keep learning from my own story.
As a resulting blessing from all this, I can crossvaidate anything I learn by discussing it in different communities, which I do. I have found that truth is truth wherever we go. And I can illustrate any truth for you, by telling a variety of stories in whichever language you want to hear them.