About Tom

I’ve been working as a therapist for over 30 years.

My training ground for being a therapist has taken place in three areas: My Western psychological education and training, my spiritual studies and practice, primarily within the realms of Buddhism and Christianity, and the lifelong work that I have done in relationship. Foremost among these have been  my two marriages and my two sons from my current partner, who are now 13 and 17 years old.

I grew up in a family with three sisters and my father who was a minister and my mother who worked as a social worker. In my quest to find myself, I wound up joining a religious cult out of high school and stayed with them for a little over two years. There were many takeaways for me from this experience, but the one that had the biggest effect on my eventual professional expression was what it taught me about personal identity. It taught me about how we are all seeking identity, or a place to fit in within this culture, the prices we are willing to pay to establish that identity, and the limitations which that identity may eventually place on our ongoing growth as a person.

Coming out of a religious cult, the job of creating an identity for myself was a bit more front and center than for most people. It was partially for this reason that I entered a masters program in counseling psychology in my late 20’s.

Western psychological training at that time, taught a lot about how people develop mental illness and how we can treat it. It had less to say, however, about how we could grow into our greater potential as a human or how we could manifest that which we took birth to accomplish in this lifetime.

I began my involvement with Theravadan Buddhism about four years before I entered graduate school and I found that the deep places I was able to get to with meditation were extremely healing for my soul. This experience provided an alternate model of healing for me that I have continued to cultivate throughout my life. Buddhism has shown me not only how we could be cured of our childhood traumas but also how we could be freed from deeper layers of suffering and confusion within the psyche.

In my late 30’s, on a nine-month sojourn to Asia, I made it to Nepal and Tibet and began my encounter with Mahayana Buddhism. Contained within Mahayana Buddhism are the teachings and methods for not only freeing the individual from suffering, but also the Way of the Bodhisattva, who’s task it is to free all beings  from suffering.

Being on this kind of path means constant transformation. Though often disconcerting to have your life get thrown up for grabs just as soon as you get things figured out, I think this is a good thing given the world we live in. We’re not able to just “settle down and live our lives” anymore because the forces at work in the world are just too dynamic. Change is the only constant.

That’s why deep Self Knowledge is so important. If we know ourselves deeply, not only can we create the life we want to create for ourselves as we align with the creative power of the universe, but we can also adjust and adapt much more easily to all the changes that come our way.