Here is the story of my professional background in a chronological narrative. You may want to skip to the end which may be most relevant, but this is the order as it happened for me.
In 2003, at the age off 33, in my tenth year of work as a lineman for the local telephone company and serving various functions for our local union, I began participating in a series of volunteer activities in the health care fields. The first was as a family support provider known as a ‘best buddy’ for children and families in the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Duke Medical Center. Soon thereafter I also began a similar role but for Duke Hospice serving patients and families at the end of life in their places of residence. After that I trained as a doula and served three mothers through the labor and delivery of their first children. It was during these years I found my life's calling and the job description which defined it: a compassionate servant walking with others through the cycles of dying, birth, and life.
From 2006 to 2010, I attended Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity and Graduate Program. At completion, I had earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Counseling. My education since has included a range of formal continuing education in the fields of counseling and clinical supervision as well as informal study in psychology, sociology, history, economics, science, and theology.
After graduation in 2010, I served one year as a chaplain resident at Duke University Medical Center serving with the end of life and palliative care team. From 2011 through 2013, I worked professionally as a chaplain and bereavement counselor for Amedisys Hospice in an eleven county area in central North Carolina. I was ordained in 2013.
From 2014 through 2016, I facilitated a trauma support group (organized by the Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham; an interfaith, ecumenical social justice organization) dubbed the 'Circle for Hope and Healing' for mothers and fathers whose children had been killed.
In 2011, I began an independent, private practice as a licensed mental health counselor. In 2013, I took that practice full-time. After ten years in the field of mental health counseling and clinical supervision, it became clear to me that my clients were very often not psychologically ill. Many were experiencing very unpleasant, yet predictable, reactions to their past and present environments. In other words, they were having a healthy response to an unhealthy world. Or, at times, an unhealthy response to the unhealthy world.
Therefore, in 2022, I opted out of the state-regulated system of treating "mental disorders" and reorganized my practice to provide a more appropriate form of care. This less specialized, innovative approach is grounded in the tradition of love, knowledge, cooperation, and healing. It begins with the belief that we are equal, interdependent, relational beings and moves away from notions which treat the mind as separate from the body, the person as separate from their relationships, and the community as separate from the environment. In addition, my practice is not one for converting time into wealth, but rather energy into health for myself and my neighbors.