I value the relationship within the counseling experience. I value your story. I provide a unique perspective on counseling. I am both a clinical social worker and ordained minister. Certified by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, I am trained to integrate your values and beliefs in your work. I am trained to both provide the clinical skills you need, and to integrate a deeper understanding of your faith and values. I have expertise in severe mental illness and am LGBT friendly. I have completed Level 3 of Gottman Theory Training, and am a leader in the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work program.
I am able to support you in understanding the intersection of your faith, your values, and the health you desire. My Gottman work provides a mechanism for deeper understanding and change in your relationships.
I am one of only a few persons certified by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors as a Fellow in the area.
This is one of the most demanding certification processes in mental health. I also have extensive experience working with members of the military and their families as well as police and emergency personnel.
Counseling occurs in the relationship between two persons. It is important that you know a bit about me and begin the process of working together.
Professionally, I wear two hats. I have been an Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1993 and an ordained United Church of Christ Minister since 1979. My professional identity includes being a “pastoral counselor.” You may wonder what that it is. I am professional who has been trained and educated in both theology, and social work. My education supported understanding how a persons understanding of God, faith and religion can effect their health – and their movement to health.
I was raised just outside of Boston, and went to college close to home. I came to Lancaster, and attended Lancaster Theological Seminary where I received my M.Div. Later I received my Doctor of Ministry Degree in Pastoral Counseling from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio; my Master of Science in Social Administration (MSW) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed a multi-year training program at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.
I also completed a residency in pastoral care at Abington Memorial Hospital.
Professionally, I served congregations as a pastor for only a few years. Following my residency, I worked at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Initially, I was the chaplain for critical care and trauma. After a few years, I was asked to begin work at a pastoral counseling center at the hospital where, beginning in 1986, I began my work, full time, providing counseling. Across the years, I have been faculty at a seminary, a Catholic university, a medical school, a nursing school and an undergraduate school.
I have written one book and have been a leader in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, in some way, since 1988.
I enjoy my work beyond measure. I value the relationships that counseling provides, and treat each person in a very unique manner. My work spans from individuals to couples, to families; from teen agers to the older members of of society. I am also active in providing counseling in the LGBTQ community.
I am also active in providing care to members of the Armed Services, Peace Officers and their families. This is a very rewarding part of my profession.
I work frequently with “complicated” situations – I do not run from the challenge. By experiencing each person as their own person, and not as a number or diagnosis, I am able to provide the professional care needed that values their story and life.
For fun…I play mountain dulcimer, penny whistle and ukelele. I read a lot…and enjoy history and politics. I have been an avid runner and bicyclist for many years….15 marathons… 2:18:42 was my personal best…I was much younger then.
To some people I am known as Jeff: WJ2MP.
Life has been full and good. I have had my share of struggles – which allows me to understand better the stories of the persons I have the opportunity to know, work with and help.
Why the Seven Principle and Couples Communication?
Simply, because they work.
The Gottman Principles are the foundation of my work with couples. The Seven Principles Program supports the integration of research and practice in supporting the development of healthy relationships.
Couples Communication does the same. It’s a researched based program to teach communication skills.
I believe in them both.
- MDiv from Lancaster Seminary
- DMin in Pastoral Counseling from United Theology Seminary
- MSSA from The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
- Studied Gestalt Theory for 12 years at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and with various master therapists
- Completed Level 3 Training in the Gottman Principles and have begun the process towards certification
- Providing pastoral counseling since 1976, have been on the faculties of medical schools, graduate schools and seminaries
- National Association of Social Workers
- Association for Clinical Pastoral Education