Brief Professional Biography
During my years in community private practice, as a family doctor, I enjoyed caring for many families. I provided prenatal care, delivered babies, cared for the newborn, and served as pediatrician as the children grew up. I was privileged to serve the primary care needs of individuals, fathers and mothers, children, teenagers, grandparents, and the whole clan. I sewed up lacerations, placed splints and casts on sprains and fractures, and admitted my patients to the local hospital for acute severe illness, where I managed their care, making rounds daily. I made home visits and cared for elderly folks in several of the local skilled nursing facilities. I provided care for the developmentally disabled, quadriplegic, and chronically ill. Counseling about domestic violence, family problems, sexual health, marriage, child growth and development, mind-body problems, depression, panic, and anxiety were a part of daily practice.
Over the years, I became progressively more interested in the connection of mind, body, and spirit to each person’s health and well-being. I worked with patients with migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, asthma, skin conditions, chest pain, and dyspepsia that were directly related to or caused by mental, emotional, and life stressors. I was also privileged to work with clergy who were experiencing burnout, spiritual crisis, or depression. I cared for patients who were wounded by, and recovering from spiritual abuse in cults and fundamentalist religious communities.
In the middle of my career, I gradually discovered that I wanted to spend more time with each patient than my primary care practice would allow. I wanted to understand and seek to heal the causes and underlying sources of their distress. After extensive consideration, I closed my practice, transferred my patients to another doctor, and was accepted for training in psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC).
I allowed myself 5 months after leaving my family practice, before starting my psychiatry residency training. During the this sabbatical, my wife, two children and I took a trip around the world, visiting spiritual sites in Thailand, India, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. We home schooled our 3rd and 4th grade kids on the road, staying in hostels and travelling by local buses and trains.
Upon completion of three years of psychiatric residency training, I became board certified and began a half-time private solo psychiatry/psychotherapy practice. In my private practice, I cared for many patients with problems related to trauma, major depression, anxiety disorders, spiritual distress, and issues of grief and loss.
I also accepted a half-time position on the medical-psychiatric staff of the Seattle VAMC. There, I worked with and cared for many chronically mentally ill, chemically addicted veterans. At the VA, I taught and supervised medical students and psychiatric residents in addiction psychiatry. I provided didactic lectures and discussion group teaching for medical students and psychiatric residents on topics in spirituality and psychiatry. I have served as Clinical Assistant Professor at the UWMC for the past 15 years.
Over this past 15 years as a psychiatrist, I pursued additional training in Jungian depth psychology, addiction medicine, Dr. Naomi Remen’s Healers Art curriculum, and Dr. James Gordon’s program in Mind-Body medicine.
I completed 2 years apprenticeship as an anamcara trained in care of the dying and multicultural hospice perspectives on healing spiritual pain, sponsored by the Sacred Art of Living Center. In more recent years, I have trained in mindfulness-based-stress-reductions (MBSR, Dr. Kabot-Zinn’s program at UMass). I am convinced that mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices are powerful, healing ways of life. I have studied and practiced the remarkable breadth of Positive Psychology with growing energy and passion. I have pursued training in spiritual direction with the Ignatian community and the spiritual exercises in every day life (SEEL). I have studied with and followed Father Richard Rohr for many years.
I have travelled extensively overseas and visited religious and spiritual sites of many faith traditions. I was an active student of the bible and a teacher and leader at my local Lutheran Church for 20 years. In more recent years, I have joined the spiritual community of Unity of South Sound and serve as a Prayer Chaplain there.
In 2012, I closed my psychiatry practice and began a sabbatical during which I travelled and studied spirituality, the Enneagram, MBSR, and Wellness Coaching. In recent years, I have led an international workshop about the Wounded Healer, and taught about Physician and Medical Student Well-Being at the University of Washington Medical Center as well as spirituality and psychiatry.
I am now working as an Integrative Coach, continuing active teaching at the UWMC, and leading workshops and seminars. I teach and lead panels at the Seattle Enneagram Society and am a certified professional teacher of the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition (EANT). I also serve on advisory committees for Physicians Insurance of Washington in two areas.
1. Adverse Event Response Training.
2. Leading Wellness, and Provider Support.