in Virginia, teaching for Regent University is not only
an honor and privilege but reunites me with my place
of birth. Southern style was to be short-lived
however, as my father a restaurant and hotel manager
would not return south until my teen years. Moving first
to upstate New York and then to Northampton Massachusetts;
I grew up in a typical Jewish family until I was 12-years-old.
At age 12, my mother passed on from this life due to
inoperable cancer and by age 14 my father remarried
adding three new siblings to our small family.
My younger brother, Seth, adjusted better than I did
and by age 17, I was out on my own just before graduation
from high school in Williamsburg, Virginia. I
had a conversion experience in my senior year after
an honest search for answers and identity. I thought
at that time that my relationship with God would stabilize
my life and give it focus. Instead it has been
the centerpiece of an oft-times wild ride through life
but always being the stabilizing force leading me to
deeper understandings and a deeper walk. When
I was eight-years-old in Hebrew School a Rabbi once
told me to “question everything” regarding
faith and spirituality. “It’s the only way
you can truly know what you believe and why”.
I have applied this mandate throughout my life; sometimes
to the chagrin of those spiritual mentors around me
but always ending up in a richer and deeper walk with
God. Actually, wrestling with God is a more accurate
assessment in that I often feel connected to Jacob.
After several false starts
in Bible College and junior college, I was able to go
straight through my Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling
at the University of South Florida. Believing
I was too dangerous to foist on the public at large,
I enrolled in my first Doctoral program for more therapeutic
training at the Gestalt Institute in Tampa and completed
in 1985 after sitting on my dissertation for five years.
I have since gone on to complete a specialization in
Theology, three more Doctorates (Theology, Ministry,
and Counseling Psychology), and have received an Honorary
Doctorate in Divinity (DD). Education has been
a wonderful way to expand horizons and foster understanding.
I continue to educate myself but no longer search out
degrees and credits. I worked in the field of
counseling and ministry, coming up through the ranks
of government and private agencies, hospitals, residential
treatment centers, partial hospitalization programs,
churches, training facilities, and private practice.
I have had an extensive career in a wide variety of
venues including the classroom. Teaching and clinical
supervision have always been creative outlets for me
and a deep source of joy and satisfaction. Working
with others to understand the complexities of life and
insight to self have been the privilege and honor others
have allowed in sharing their journeys with me.
In the last few years, research has captured my attention
with most of the focus targeted at Dissociative Identity
Disorder and both Christian and secular applications
to healing. We have started the Center for Trauma Studies
here at Regent and one of our programs is to train graduate
students to be first-responders in situations of natural
disasters and/or man-made disasters. Practical skills
for the real world. We hope to deploy to Sudan in the
summer semester to work with training local leaders
in trauma and working with villagers in both Southern
Sudan and Darfur. We have formed alliances with Global
Aid Network, Operation Blessing, and the American Green
Cross to train and certify our students with skills
they will take into their respective careers.
I believe that psychotherapy
is an art from. The artist must be equipped with
a variety of styles or colors to enable them to be a
catalyst for positive change. As Christian therapists,
the calling often means providing a way for clients
(and sometimes ourselves) to be positively reconciled
with God. This comes from a deep place of love
and respect for those we work with and those who allow
us to share in their walk and journey. My favorite
scripture comes from I John 4:8 “. . . for
God is Love”. I believe that we are called
to learn how to love in all its many aspects and that
life itself is the classroom in which to learn the lessons.
Being a professor at Regent University has been a long
time goal of mine. I am humbled and honored to
be a part of a faculty and staff that not only embodies
this idea but walks it out daily. The true fire
of this staff is to convey spiritual insights and growth
to assist others to assist others to do the same.
There is nothing more sacred to me than this.
I also enjoy a wonderful
affiliation with Life Christian Counseling Network which
has opened up new dynamics for me in private practice
therapy. Their cordial staff handle payments and paperwork
which allows me to be able to focus on the therapeutic
process. I am truly blessed to have good friends in
both the group of therapists and the owners and I am
pleased to be a part of this solid group of Christians
who are very well trained and talented.