It all started with a yellow Lab named Mikey ...
It's pretty simple really...
My goal is to help as many grieving people as possible heal, remember, and rebuild after loss. I have worked as a therapist/counselor in a variety of settings and was a psychology professor for 14 years (and an Assistant Dean of Academics for a while). I have completed research (including my dissertation) on grief and loss as well as written a book for mental health professionals on how to work with widowers.
But I wasn’t getting much satisfaction from my research because it wasn’t directly helping grieving people. My schedule as a full-time professor, Assistant Dean, and husband, and father of three children didn’t allow me to go back to being a grief therapist. I was frustrated that I wasn’t using my education and experience to help others.
Around this time, we needed to euthanize our 14-year-old lab after we discovered his body was riddled with cancer. I remember sobbing on the floor of the veterinarian’s office. And a few days later I thought, “This hurts terribly. But I wonder how much worse it might be for people who don’t have good grief support and information.”
So I decided to write a booklet ....
... for others who were grieving the death of their dog: Finding Hope after the Loss of a Dog. The feedback on my booklet was so positive that I went on to write 12 booklets on various types of loss (and you can download all my booklets for free). Finally, I was using my personal and professional expertise to actually help others.
Later I discovered that some people wanted more than a booklet. They wanted a guided plan that would provide strategies to help them on their grief journey, and for one reason or another they didn’t want to use traditional grief counseling or grief therapy. So I created my GriefPlan Online Program to help people heal the pain of grief, always remember their loved one, and begin to rebuild their lives after loss.
Random Facts About Me
I'm actually allergic to dogs. But we have them anyway.
My favorite childhood comfort toy was a plush squirrel. He was creatively named, “Squirrel.”
Ice cream, brownies, cheesecake … If possible, I almost always get the Turtle flavor.
I had perfect attendance from Kindergarten almost through 5th grade … until I got the chickenpox.
I’m trying to get better at regularly writing handwritten letters. I’m really trying.
I’m originally from Iowa, but now live near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee in the US.
My wife has her master’s degree in counseling psychology and provides invaluable contributions to everything I do.
My wife and I have three daughters, including one who was adopted from Bulgaria. Although we often think of ourselves as having 4 daughters. More on that later.
I drink Earl Grey Tea pretty much every day.
I love taking my kids to aquariums.
I think cemeteries are beautiful, inspiring, sacred places. I often pull off the highway to drive through a cemetery.
I once spent a summer in Iceland. It’s beautiful.
Kansas City barbeque is the best. Period.
Do you know the scene in Indiana Jones when he finds the location of the Holy Grail? I’ve ridden a horse through that canyon.
Chicken-fried steak with gravy and mashed potatoes is heaven on a plate.
I was a Boy Scout, but didn’t make it past Star rank.
I’ve experienced several losses (and not just dogs), but I choose to focus primarily on other peoples’ grief journeys.
I’ve been to 42 out of the 50 states in the US.
I miss teaching college students, but I love knowing that I’m helping grieving people more.
▪ PhD in Counseling Psychology: University of Kansas (APA-Accredited Program)
- Internship: Kansas State University Counseling Services (APPIC-Approved Internship)
▪ MA in Counseling: Truman State University (CACREP-Accredited Program)
▪ BS in Psychology: Truman State University