Masters of Science; Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Masters of Business Administration
BS Psychology / BS Criminal Justice
The Acadia Hospital:
- Inpatient Therapist
- Access Center – Intakes and first line calling
- Psychiatric Tech; Inpatient children, adolescences and adults
Penobscot County Jail: Corrections Officer
Direct Support Personnel – OHI Group Home settings for challenging clientele
What are your passions?
“My passions span a wide array of areas. I would have to say that what I love most is being free, out in the open, and in the elements. There is nothing like being on the road, riding a motorcycle, feeling the wind as it rushes by, or the view from the top of a peak and the sun as it sets over the water. These things take my breath away and bring a sense of peace that I wish to share with all those around me.”
What is one of the most difficult things you have overcome?
“When I was 17 years old, a junior in high school, I found out that I would soon be a father of not one, but two beautiful children. My initial reaction was fear; can I do this? I am too young? I had already planned my schooling so that I could complete high school a year early, and that is exactly what I did. At eight weeks old my two wonderful twins were at my graduation. Ever since that moment I have strived to overcome all expectations, push through the tough times and show them that no matter what it is you put your mind to, you can achieve it. I have been able to not only fulfill my role as a father (a great one at that) and be there for my children, I have also reached every goal I have set for myself. Achieving multiple degrees of study and always pushing myself to be better. Having children at such a young age was a huge undertaking and at times very overwhelming and that is why I share this here as the most difficult and gratifying thing I have overcome.”
How did you get involved in working in this field?
“I have always thought that I wanted to be in law enforcement, even as a very young child. When I achieved this and began working in the field I found a common trend, many did not need jail they needed help. They did not nor could they afford to pay a ridiculous fine or to spend days, weeks, months or years in a jail. They needed guidance, mentoring and direction. This led me to the field of mental health and counseling. From my experience as a therapist I began to think about what I would want out of therapy, what goals I could set and what would be the best way to get there. What I found was that 0ne hour a week may be good for some, however life doesn’t happen an hour a week, it happens every day and in those moments of difficulty that is when the most success and growth can be found. Northwoods Ranch and Retreat offers just that. The ability to work with young men in the moment and address issues as they present, is far more effective than that of any outpatient service. That is why I chose this type of counseling.”
What do you like most about working at Northwoods Ranch and Retreat?
“I love the family atmosphere, the true caring and the comradery. It is amazing to watch the men we work with as they find themselves and grow. We become close and a true bond is formed and memories that I will never forget.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“Five years, where will I be… I hope to be sitting at a fire looking out at the lake sharing great stories, adventures and struggles with close friends. I see myself continuing to grow my passions and experiencing the outdoors and the adventure that life has to offer. “
In a little more detail…
“What can I tell you about me? As I thought about this question and what I would like to share with those reading this, what came to mind was a time 10 to 12 years ago when I found myself struggling, unable to find myself and feeling lost. At the time my now ex-wife and I were separating and things had begun to fall apart. We had the normal fights that ensue when a relationship comes to an end. I felt hurt, confused, guilty, and as it was once put to me by a seven year old client, I had emotion salad. I briefly discussed above that having children at a very young age was a challenge; this was the most challenging part of that experience.
I remember vividly sitting in my room after my wife had left, curled up and weeping, exhausted and shut down. This moment was a turning point for me. It was the moment that I told myself I need help; I cannot do this on my own. Up until this I had felt confident and able to do anything, I had not failed at much in life despite the bumps, it was easy to navigate.
I began to reach out to my friends and people I had long ago left behind. They, over time and many conversations were what pulled me out of this hole I had found myself. If not for them and my wonderful family I do not want to imagine where things could have gone. I share this because I come to this work, this lifestyle from experience. I have been in a place I felt alone and unable to move and with the help of great people I was able to find my way out. I think this is important for clients coming to the ranch to know. That I as a counselor am not lecturing from a book, telling them what some professor in a class told me. I am coming to them as a person who struggled, a person who took that struggle and made the choice to educate myself so that I could help others.