Sacred Nature Time
Sacred Nature Time

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IMG_0697

My favorite way to explore the Colorado mountains!

Sacred Nature Time
Sacred Nature Time

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Introduction

I was born in Washington State, where my favorite childhood memories were playing in the lush forest and exploring the wonders of life in a tide pool or under a log. Then as a young boy, my mother and I moved to the Desert of Las Vegas. This was certainly a unique place for me to grow up and adapt to. As an adult, I was exposed to the unique "Sin City" atmosphere. While attending UNLV for Anthropology, I took an array of sexuality classes from various fields as I was fascinated to learn what it is that people from all over the world were coming to this city to express/feel/experience and what that might mean about our species to have such a city in the middle of the desert. After college, I brought my curiosity for exploring human culture and behavior into my travels to Europe, S.E. Asia, & Oceania, where I continued to learn, in conversations with other travelers, how unique every individual’s sexuality is based on their culture, life experiences, personality, imagination and so much more! These fascinating experiences and conversations, along with my intuitive nature motivated me to pursue a career in Marriage & Family Therapy, so that I could keep expanding my knowledge of why we are the way we are and how we relate to one another and adapt to our inner/outer world. 

            I have always had a curiosity for life, nature, and how we humans fit into the puzzle of it all, but I have not always known that being a therapist would be a source of purpose in my life. Right after high school, I joined the Army National Guard and served for seven years both stateside and on deployment in Afghanistan. This previous chapter of my life was fundamental to my growth as a person, however it also lead to a long process of reintegration. Meditation, yoga, therapy, and time in nature have been some of the most transformative influences that have helped me to grow and how to work with my thoughts and emotions instead of feeling controlled by them. The struggle continues, but now I appreciate the struggle for continuing to provide me with new seeds of wisdom and recognize that we must accept suffering and change as constant and that we have the responsibility to choose how we respond to life instead of being stuck in reactivity. 

            Being raised by a resilient single mother motivates my work with youth and families who may struggle with the obstacles of divorce or separation. Through my own path of adapting, healing & growth, I believe that all individuals should feel entitled to construct their own expression of masculinity or femininity in line with their own values, feelings and internal sense of knowing instead of what society may expect! Growing up without a male role model, I understand the difficulty men face in today’s world of mixed messages and unhealthy expectations of masculinity. Through my previous work in youth mentoring programs such as Colorado Youth Outdoors, CSU Campus Connections and Partner's Mentoring Youth, I have developed a passion working with adolescents and adult men to help them flourish into authentic, compassionate, & independent individuals to grow as friends, lovers, & fathers. 

          Outside of therapy, I enjoy backpacking internationally, paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, video games and anything with risk and adventure like skydiving, slack lining or riding motorcycles. I am blessed to be joined in this journey of life by my wife, daughter, two stepsons, dog and two snakes.

Therapeutic Philosophy

 

Adaptive Therapy seeks to provide clients a safe space to explore their current situation with a new perspective to facilitate progress in the areas of their life where they feel stuck. When we can understand how humans evolved in our natural environment, we can understand how today's modern environment (e.g., fast-paced, performance driven, technology dependent, concrete jungle, socially isolated families, etc.), can bring about struggles, unhealthy habits & thoughts. Moreover, we believe that healthy connections with others and a balanced lifestyle (biopsychosocialecological-spiritual) combine to create holistic wellness, which helps prevent or mitigate most addictions and mental health difficulties. By viewing the client's concerns through a family systems approach, we can better understand how we as a family, community, and society are all interdependent. Mark has a unique therapeutic style as a realist, who is honest and direct with clients, which merges with his sensitivity to the emotional needs of others and a patient disposition to support clients to discover deeper parts of themselves and reconnect with their inner healing potential to overcome obstacles in their lives and relationships. 

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chimp and mother_edited

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Professional Experience 

Colorado Youth Outdoors - Pro Staff Instructor

2018 - 2019 

CSU Health Network Counseling Services - Academic Year Counselor  

2018 - Present

Center for Family & Couple Therapy  -  MFT Therapist Intern

2015-17

CSU Parenting Young Children Project - Research Experimenter   2015-17

Partners Mentoring Youth - School Based Mentor 

2015-16

CSU Campus Connections - Therapist / Instructor

2016-17

 

Other Experiences/Involvement/Training

  • Vipassana Meditation 10 day silent retreat 

  • Mindful Community Yoga Group 7 day course with Dr. Mica Adesso​​

  • Zendo Project Psychedelic Peer Support Training CE​​

  • Reconnecting to Our Nature (Seasonal) retreat with Chuck Hancock LPC​​

  • PRATI - Psychedelic Research And Training Institute 

    • Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Training​

  • Sexual Health Alliance AASECT 16 CE - Rebel Love: Exploring Liberation, Body/Mind & Somatics by Dr. Chris Donoghue

  • Sexual Health Alliance AASECT 16 CE - Diverse Sex Positive Parenting Course by N. Jasmine Johnson LCSW

  • Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy: An Introduction 12 CE Certificate