06 Feb 2014, LPC, and the “Grand Vision”
I’ve been feeling inspired to organize my thoughts, intuitions, and plans into some writing, to get clear for myself and for readers and potential clients.
First, I’m excited to announce that, as of February 4th, 2014, I am officially a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Oregon! Roughly 8.5 years after beginning graduate school at Naropa, I took the path less-traveled. I’ve been very blessed to retain my position as Recruiting Coordinator/Assistant Coach at the University of Portland with the men’s cross country and track programs, while building my private practice and accumulating hours for licensure. I exchanged time for freedom and satisfaction, two values I hold very highly on my life trajectory. At any (rather slow) rate, here I am, Division I coach and LPC. More on that in a bit…
To set this stage for this year at Vital Collective, I really want to share the news that my wife, Clara, and I are expecting our first child in late May/early June! I feel very grateful to be on this journey towards parenthood, and this baby has already established itself as a teacher for me. I’m so amazed and inspired by Clara’s role in this pregnancy. It’s such a gift to appreciate her – and women, in general – for the task of child-bearing is unparalleled in this world, I believe. Logistically, I will be taking at least 2 weeks off from most – if not all – my practice duties once the baby arrives, and will do my best to keep scheduled groups on course.
Grateful for two peer-led men’s groups I’ve joined and formed in late 2013. Surrounding myself with strong men who are all leaders of men in the world, my edges get sharpened, and my center is met in a way that I don’t get from other relationships. The nourishment barrier is dissolving there, and I’m looking for more and more from these sources.
The Grand Vision
The heart of my work embraces the notion that being in relationship – with self and other – is a vehicle for personal transformation, rather than a means to an “end” set of needs. To put it in Skymall poster words, Relationship isn’t the destination, it’s the journey. And so I’ve been blessed to work with folks who are turning towards the thorns and entanglements of relationship, as they see that release and growth are found on the other side.
In my “mission,” I understate my own interest in making “positive social impact.” The best way I can do that is to work with people who have the most potential for social impact – namely, parents, coaches, teachers, and leaders.
I work with parents who are ready to see their kids not as a problem to be solved, but as a catalyst for their own transformation. So many parents I work with, whether they say it explicitly or not, would love it if I could change their kid’s behavior through their work with me. I want to work with parents who believe that behavior change in their kids will come as their relationship improves. We work boundaries, we work awareness, we work differentiation. When at least one person in a relationship changes, the dynamic inevitably changes. This is encouraging. My parenting and parent coaching perspective derives largely from Positive Discipline and Parenting with Love & Logic concepts, and I’m big on taking on discomfort if it means a big long-term gain. If you’re a parent who cares deeply about your child’s achievement in sports, school, and relationships and you’re feeling frustrated, exhausted, and confused, welcome to the club! I don’t believe that parenting has to mean self-sacrifice, and I’m ready to help you make major changes in order to feel energized and see your child reach his/her potential.
My Grand Vision also involves personal growth and leadership development for hard-working leaders in the Portland community. Again, you have so much power and potential to influence people who can change things, it’s so inspiring. I am working on a book and subsequent curriculum for creating empowered culture, and I hope to work with coaches, teachers, and others in leadership positions on stepping into their own power in service of their communities.
2014 Vital Collective Offerings
Last year, I wrote about starting a drop-in relationship experiential and I created the Compassionate Relationship Group (formerly NVC Experiential Group). This group has been so helpful and inspiring! As of today, this group has 57 members who circulate in attendance, with a ton of positive feedback and support. People are changing their awareness, their intentions, their skills, and, ultimately (and hopefully), their relationships with the help of this group. Email me if you’d like to join us for an upcoming open group.
This January saw the transition of leadership and branding of my ongoing men’s group. Great friend and co-facilitator Ted Reavey gives way to another great friend, Anthony Marchant, LPC. Ted continues his own personal journey, exploring the California central coast, while Anthony and I continue what is now known as the Portland Men’s Group (formerly Empowered Man Group). This group meets every other Tuesday evening, and is for men who are ready to move into a deeper place of authenticity with their relationships and their lives.
What will be new this year? Anthony and I have thrown around the idea of starting a Dad’s Group, so watch for that. Also, I’m building a structure for a closed relationship group, focusing on the elements of Compassionate Communication. This would be for both men and women, and would be experiential, present-centered, and feedback driven. Stay tuned…