Mission Statement

Years ago I made a decision to go to graduate school to get a PhD in clinical psychology. When I thought about why I wanted to do this, I came up with two reasons: I wanted to help people improve their lives, and I’ve always been intrigued by the field of academic psychology. These motivations continue to drive me even after 30 years of practice.

In the time since I’ve graduated, there have been many new and stimulating developments in my field, and I have been consistently learning the latest theories and techniques available in psychology. I am committed to using the most efficient methods and techniques—both established and new—so my clients can have more fulfilling lives and form better relationships.

An interesting story about my family background

A few years ago I was in Toronto visiting a cousin. He handed me a book—Land of Promise by John Blackburn—and asked if I'd ever seen it; I hadn’t. My cousin told me the book is about settlers in Canada during the 20th century, and on page 198 there was a story in it about our grandfather, Lewis Bricker. Here is that story:

Mention of the old manager of the Lavoy lumberyard brings to mind a sad story that illustrates the real hardship and suffering some of the poorer families in our district experienced during the depression. Mr. Tom Robinson had bought a quarter-section of very poor land under the soldier settlement plan operated by the federal government. He had a family of six or seven children, but could not possibly support them on a quarter-section. He owed Lewis Bricker, the general storekeeper at Lavoy, a large bill for groceries, and it was getting bigger all the time, with little possibility that it could ever be paid.

To make matters worse, his twelve-year-old boy had an attack of appendicitis and was rushed to the Vegreville hospital. A few days later, I happened to be in Bricker's store quite early in the morning. The temperature was far below zero. I was getting warm at the big register over the basement furnace when Mr. Robinson drove up in a bobsleigh, tied his horses to the hitching rack, and came into the store, looking very cold and miserable.

When I asked him how the boy was getting along, he replied, 'I just got back from the hospital. Billy died last night. I tried to get some boards at the lumberyard to make a box to bury him in, but Mr. Harlan can't give me any credit and I have no money.' Before I could say anything, Louie Bricker who had heard the conversation said, 'You come with me, Tom. We will get the boards.'

The two men went to the lumberyard where Louie guaranteed payment for sufficient boards to make a coffin. When Mr. Harlan suggested No. 2 common lumber from a pile covered with snow, Louie indignantly told him to get out dry shelving, the finest grade of lumber, which was kept in the shed under cover. Then Louie took Mr. Robinson back to the store where I was still waiting for my groceries. Bricker's was a general store and had many bolts of yard goods in stock. Louie went behind the dry-goods counter and took down a bolt of black alpaca cloth, and unwound enough to cover the coffin after Mr. Robinson had made it. His boy could now have a decent burial.

The Brickers were the only Jewish family in Lavoy, and I have never known a more generous and kind-hearted man. He well knew that Tom Robinson could never pay the grocery bill he owed or for the lumber and cloth for the coffin. This did not stop him from helping a fellow man in dire need. Louie Bricker almost went broke during the depression because he helped so many people like Tom Robinson. But nobody had more true friends than Lewis Bricker when he came to the end of the road of life in 1968.

Lewis Bricker was my grandfather, my father’s father. Family legend had it that he was an extremely generous man who could have been wealthy if not for all his acts of charity. His emphasis on charity and living his life according to his values set a tone for at least the next two generations. That influence has always been important to me in making major life and career decisions, and more importantly, offering a general guide to how I want to live my life and help people.