I began this transition into becoming a psychologist over 20 years ago, when I took my own leap of faith with the aid of intensive mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices and embarked upon my own personal journey of self discovery.
I combined this with intensive academic studying and conducting a series of pioneering research studies as I worked through my B.A. degree, my Masters degree, and finally my Ph.D. degree, all of them in psychology with an emphasis on somatic, humanistic, existential, and transpersonal perspectives. I translated my doctoral research on the recovery from psychosis and extreme states into the widely acclaimed book, "Rethinking Madness."
During my career, I have been very active in my clinical and psychotherapy/counselling training, working at a residential facility for those challenged by psychosis and other extreme states of consciousness; at a major medical hospital providing support for people challenged by serious physical and mental ailments, many of whom were preparing for the great unknown of death; in a community mental health clinic supporting individuals, couples, and families with a wide variety of issues; at a treatment center for those challenged with substance dependence; and here in this private practice setting where I've continued providing therapy for a wide range of challenges, with a particular focus on the recovery from various forms of trauma and its consequences.
As a hang gliding instructor, my primary role was to encourage people to overcome their fear and take a leap of faith from the secure ground into the unknown. Now, as a psychologist, I find that my primary role is still encouraging people to take a leap of faith into the unknown,
but the difference is that, in psychotherapy, the
“ground” is the security of our old habit patterns, and
“overcoming our fear” is the courage it takes to leap
into the possibility of a whole new way of being in the
world, with all the unknowns
and even risks that this entails.
It seems that in order to live
more fully and explore the
bounds of our freedom, we have
to let go of many of our secure
but limiting habits and belief
After a successful career as a professional hang glider pilot and instructor in my youth, I made the long but rewarding transition to a career as a psychologist. Many people ask me, what inspired you to transition between two completely unrelated fields? Actually, I find them surprisingly similar in many ways . . .
NZPsS (New Zealand Psychological Society)
ICP (Institue of Clinical Psychology)
The Hakomi Institute (Certifed Hakomi Therapist and Certified Hakomi Teacher)
EMDRNZ (EMDR Association of New Zealand)
ISEPP (The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry)
ISPS (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis)
I am originally from the United States, where I was registered as a Clinical Psychologist, which is the highest level of psychosocial-oriented mental health professional recognised by the state. I carried this registration over to New Zealand when I moved here 8 years ago.
I've assisted and led numerous workshops and trainings over the past 10+ years, with particular emphasis on therapy modalities that incorporate mindfulness and somatic (mind/body) approaches to various forms of acute and developmental trauma. I'm a Certified Teacher of Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, and I have extensive experience practicing and teaching a number of other related modalities.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of the many modalities that I incorporate.
See here for workshops/trainings I'm presently offering.