Marriage and Family Therapist Austin

About Dean

Hi and welcome. I’m so glad you found me.

Are you experiencing pain that feels like it is too much? Are you having relationship challenges with your partner that feel difficult and painful?

Counseling is a wonderful way of creating long term change and transformation in yourself and in your relationships. You found the right place!

Therapy is about YOU and your needs, and your hopes for change. My job is to create a safe and welcoming environment for you to work on the goals we set together.

You have tried many things to cope and make a change in your life, and it feels like the pain is too much. And sometimes, it helps to ask for help to make a shift and add direction and momentum in your journey.

Each person seeking therapy is in pain of some kind: from mild pain to intense pain. And they are looking for a solution and relief. And that is exactly what I have to offer.

Making the call to stop the suffering and make a change and shift in your life probably feels like a hard thing to do (I get that). But I am confident that if you are ready to reach out to me you will find this to be one of the most important things you give to yourself and your relationships.

About Me

As a child, I was the neighborhood “therapist” for friends and neighbors. I gravitated toward people who were in distress and offered a helping hand. I was not taught to be like this, it just happened for me. As long as I can remember I have been curious and comfortable with other people’s feelings and needs.

And now as a therapist in my adult years, it feels like I have returned home. Therapy is a profound experience and privilege for me which I do not take lightly. I am continually amazed by the bravery and vulnerability of the clients who come to see me.

I am originally from San Francisco where I grew up. I spent some time in Chicago where I completed my undergraduate studies. Later I obtained an MBA from the University of San Francisco. I have been married for 19 years with two daughters ages 11 and 17. I live in South Austin and when I can I enjoy outdoors walking my dog, hiking with my family and playing tennis.

My Approach

I have been known for my warmth, caring, positive regard, fun nature and research-based knowledge in my work. I take confidentiality seriously in order to create a safe place for clients to express themselves freely without reproach or judgment. Clients have mentioned how easy it is to build rapport and trust with me. I have a holistic approach to therapy valuing the connection between mind, body and spirit within the context of a safe and caring therapeutic relationship. And I strive to practice what I teach. I have a collaborative approach to therapy in which your needs and suggestions are valued. This is about you and your healing journey. I am trained in EMDR and will use this approach if and when the client is ready. EMDR has been proven to be very effective in treating trauma. I am also trained in mindfulness which can help in many ways: Calming nervous systems, opening partners to deeper emotional connection and helping individuals with negative emotions and beliefs.

Couples Counseling

I love working with couples! Much of my private practice and training is in couples counseling. You may feel that your relationship is too hard or you may feel hopeless that change is possible. You may yearn for a time when the relationship was fulfilling, supportive and passionate. I am a firm believer that issues in relationship can be solved if both partners are willing to do the work in couples therapy. Financial problems, communication issues, intimacy challenges, and conflicts around raising children can be overcome with new skills in communication, managing stress and creating more emotional connection in your relationship.

I offer a safe and supportive environment for you and your partner to explore and work through challenges and growth areas. The counseling process is tailored made to the needs of each couple that come to see me. My approach to therapy is formed by the latest science and research in couples counseling. Call me today for a free 15-minute consultation about your relationship at 512-443-8100 x3.

Grief Counseling

Another big part of my practice is in grief counseling. I was trained at Hospice Austin to individually counsel those who have lost a love one and to lead bereavement groups. You may feel overwhelmed and feel a way unlike anything you have experienced before. Grief can feel isolating as if very few people really understand you. I can feel messy to you…really messy with disbelief, sadness, numbness, high anxiety, anger all happening. I offer individual grief therapy, grief group support therapy or a combination of both to help you during this time.

Anxiety, Fear and Stress

I am passionate about helping clients manage fear, panic, anxiety and distress. You may feel overwhelmed by the various aspects of your life. It just feels like too much. I have found in my life and my work with clients that there can peace and contentment even amidst the tumult and choppy waters. I am confident that when you have the tools to return to calm you will find more ease and fulfillment in your life and in your relationships. I have spent over twelve years in various training programs to learn how to regulate my stress levels and help others to do the same. Managing your stress and anxiety is a master key to happiness and to feelings of full aliveness.

Life Transition

Finally, I am passionate about life transition work. Counseling is a second career for me after spending 16 years in business and real estate. After much soul searching and my own counseling, I made the leap. It was at times a hard and unnerving process to leave what was known and comfortable to me to walk into what was unknown. I am now in a helping profession which has been a life-long aspiration. You may be in a time of transition whether it is leaving college, loss of a loved one, a new career, post-divorce, recently married or parenthood and looking for support and guidance. Call me at 512-443-8100 x3 for a free 15-minute consultation.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Austin IN (Interpersonal Neurobiology) Connection
  • Austin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Austin Group Psychotherapy Society

TRAININGS AND SEMINARS

  • Master of Arts in Counseling with honors from St. Edward's University
  • Best Practices in Trauma Prevention: Strategies for Self-Regulation Workshop (May 2013)
  • Prepare and Enrich training for pre-marital couples (March 2014)
  • Heart of Health & Transformation: Principals of Psychological Well-Being Dr. Dan Siegel (April 2014)
  • Exploring the triple flame: Attachment, Intimacy and Sexuality, Esther Perel (November 2014)
  • EMDR Training (January 2015 through June 2015)
  • Discernment Counseling for Married Couples training (February 2015)
  • Spirituality, Archetypes and Trauma, Peter Levine (April 2015)
  • Bringing Right-Brained Grieving to a Left-Brained World: Using Attachment and Interpersonal Neurobiology to Humanize Our Approach to Grief, Candyce Ossefort (June 2015)
  • Spring Institute Austin Group Psychotherapy Society (April 2016)
  • EMDRIA International Conference, Minneapolis, MN (August 2016)
  • The Art of EMDR Therapy, Roger Solomon, Ph.D. (August 2016)
  • The Hungry Ghost: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Addiction, Gabor Mate, M.D. (August 2016)
  • The Girl in the Mirror: Awareness and Ego State Projection in Treating Body Disturbance, Andrew Seubert, LPC (August 2016)
  • Breaking the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)/Poor Health Cycle with EMDR Therapy, Carol Forgash, Ph.D. (August 2016)
  • Understanding and Treating Catastrophic Shame, Richard Chefetz, M.D. (August 2016)
  • Mindfulness and the 8 Phase (EMDR) Protocol as a Template for Addiction Treatment, Stephen Dansinger, Psy.D., MFT (August 2016)
  • The Impact of Attachment in EMDR Therapy: Theory and Practice with Video, Andrew Leeds, Ph.D. and Dolores Mosquera, Psy. (August 2016)
  • EMDR Therapy Preparation for Adults with Attachment Trauma, Ann Potter, Ph.D. and Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP (August 2016)
  • Middelberg's Integrated Therapy Training Program (September 2015 through May 2017)
  • Attachment in Psychotherapy: Relational Transformation and the Psychology of the Therapist, David Wallin (December 2017)