I chose the name Great Eastern Sun for my private practice because it reminds me of how I want to be in this world. In the teachings of the Shambhala tradition, the symbol “Great Eastern Sun” is used to refer to our potential to approach the world with gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge rather than violence and aggression. As the metaphor suggests, the sun always rises—a symbolic manifestation of our ongoing capacity to make contact with what is good, right, and just.
The choice to make this kind of contact with our world invites a certain kind of bravery and appreciation for the challenges life presents to us. The Shambhala teachings are about not being afraid of who we are. Rather we can recognize something basically good about ourselves as human beings even when we experience problems and confusion. When we discover basic goodness within, we can live joyously even in the face of uncertainty. We can be authentically who we are without self-censorship. Our lives can be workable.
In just three words, Great Eastern Sun speaks to the qualities of openness, spaciousness, and clarity that empower us to orient toward possibility and change.
About me, professionally
Being a psychotherapist and coach feels like a natural outcome of my life so far. I have not always been in this profession, having also worked in business and high tech. Even in those professions, I had a certain psychological perspective that added greater context to my work. For example, as a Certified Public Accountant, I was fascinated by the different ways people reacted to financial information. While financial data can be a rather abstract representation of a situation, a person’s response to that data always seemed to indicate in a concrete way what was really going on. As I became increasingly interested in why people behave the way they do, I found myself on a parallel path of self-discovery.
Early in my adult development, I studied philosophy, western psychology, and business at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Later, I delved into eastern practices, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and other spiritual disciplines. These pursuits ultimately led me to Naropa University, where I trained as a psychotherapist and learned to integrate mindfulness practices with western and eastern psychology. Now, as a coach, I hold similar perspectives.
From a professional standpoint, I describe myself as an integrative psychotherapist and coach, making use of body, mind, and spiritual practices to assist in facilitating personal growth. Central to my work is helping you become aware of disowned or unresolved aspects of yourself so that you can integrate these parts of you into a more cohesive personality. Through the process of integration, you can learn to be less defensive and reactionary, and more flexible and spontaneous. You can live with more intention and clarity rather than with disappointment, resentment, or compulsiveness. I have done this kind of work and so can you.
About me, personally
People say I am good-natured and easy to connect with. I have a broad knowledge base and an open mind. I have a passion for staying abreast of current events and love discussing different points of view. There’s a lot to investigate and digest in this troubled but beautiful world.
I tend to be independent-minded and enjoy thinking outside the box to discover new and effective ways of looking at things and solving problems. This trait frequently shows up as a friendly curiosity. For example, I sometimes interact with my two cats, Charlie and Trixy, as if they are intelligent human beings, just to see how they respond. The outcome can be a fascinating glimpse of a feline’s potential to communicate and be in relationship. One thing is for sure, my cats love all the attention! Another example of my style may be my practice of letting vegetable-bearing plants continue to grow long after the fruits have been harvested. The result may surprise you: many of these plants grow into unexpected shapes and produce interesting flowers.
My personality will obviously show up in sessions with you, too. I am truly interested in you as a unique human being and the issues you’re facing. It is my conviction that all mind states are workable. I tend to be thorough in my approach. For example, I might research your issue further or consult with colleagues or experts (while preserving confidentiality) to put what we are working on into greater context and understanding. My orientation is constantly evolving as I read, study and consult. As we work together my understanding of your issues will likely evolve as well.
It is my sincere wish that you, as my client, can also develop this friendly and curious attitude towards your inner world of thoughts and feelings so that you may explore—without defense—and uncover your personal wisdom. I will likely be modeling this orientation for you. Part of my job is to hold space and create emotional safety while you and I notice and track what arises during the course of our work. Sessions can feel like a walk in the park; we stroll together while commenting on the trees and animals along the way. We are open to what’s happening around and within us.
In addition to studies in psychology, applied psychophysiology, and evidence-based coaching I am including my business credentials to represent a range of life experiences that may be useful in session (particularly if you work in the business sector):
- Certificate Studies in Evidence-Based Coaching, Fielding Graduate University (in process)
- Doctoral Level Studies in Applied Psychophysiology, Saybrook University
- Doctoral Level Clinical Psychology Certificate Studies, Fielding Graduate University
- Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy, Naropa University
- Graduate Level Counseling Training, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
- Master of Science in Accounting, University of Virginia
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Virginia
- Private Practice, Great Eastern Sun Counseling (www.greateasternsuncounseling.com) in Idaho: Nov 2014 to present, specializing in processing and integrating challenging life experiences.
Past business experience
- Business Analyst, Micron Technology, Boise: Nov 2005 to July 2010. Supported information systems design, construction, and implementation in a team setting.
- Project Accountant, DDC, LLC (a design-build firm), Pocatello: May 2003 to Nov 2005: Provided accounting, administration, and disbursements to support construction contracts.
- Business Analyst, Intel Corporation, Salt Lake City and Santa Clara: Dec 1996 to Sept 2001: Supported information systems design, construction, and implementation in a team setting.
- Other positions held: Certified Public Accountant, Corporate Accountant, Assistant Controller
- Certified Mindfulness Instructor, through Naropa University
- Certified Public Accountant, through the State of Oregon. License is in inactive status.
Let’s get started
Contact me at 208.557.8603 to learn more about what I can offer. I can provide a half-hour phone consultation (no charge) to assist you in exploring your options.