In 2004, Jerry Large interviewed me for The Seattle Times on "What's the problem with boys?" In it, I lauded schools like the Seattle Girls' School and the people who were putting so much time and attention into ensuring that girls felt empowered to do math and science. What is inherently troubling about any national model that involves a turning of our national head to focus our attention on one thing is that the other things we are not focused on only get to see our national profile, not the full effect of our gaze and nurturing and attention. What that translated to me, all the way back then, was a world that would necessarily be more unsafe for girls. In 2020, I would add what I absolutely know to be a fact after working with boys, and now men, for more than 20 years: It makes the world unsafer for boys, too.
INTIMACY AT THE INTERSECTION OF SEX & CONFLICT
I am an intimacy expert specializing in conflict, sex, and family sociology. That means I work with individuals and couples on how to deepen intimacy, how to fight, and how to resolve sexual issues. Family consulting and couples' advising is intended to empower people to empower themselves, to live more meaningful lives, and to identify patterns of behavior and thoughts that interact positively or negatively with others within the dynamic.
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
The core focus of my research has been Family & Family Systems, Identity Formation, Stress & Trauma, particularly for children, youth, and emerging adults. My cornerstone focus has been on changed neurochemistry in the adult male brain. Over the past four years, my research has been in Male Trauma, Desire & Sexuality. While working as an educator, I found that boys--even as young as primary school, and certainly by middle school and high school--sometimes felt marginalized, problematic, dirty, or in some other way pigeon- holed into a way of being that was harming their hearts, their sexuality, and their ability to relate first as human beings, and then as the masculine energy that they were told to suppress unless using an outlet such as sports. This manifests as shame, which is enculturated and transgenerationally transmitted.
Why did I switch from educational pedagogies for birth to 5 and K-12?
Because in 1996, when I began working with families with boys who had "behavioral" issues, and in 2000, when I founded a school that provided support to families with babies through 12th grade children, I found that these are not the problems of children--they are the problems of adults. Adults who lack cohesion in their own identity formation grow up with gaps in their ability to nurture themselves or, sometimes, to be aware enough parents to stop the learned legacies that they have been passing down for generations. Each adult is a child in a mature body, and this does not always represent the full facts of our upbringing. It is the marriage of these interests, education, and experience that puts me in the unique position to consult with individuals, couples, and families to deepen healthy intimacy and to develop language for feelings, conflict, and productive communication in order to find workable solutions to stress and strife. This involves identifying internal differences in needs and wants, and differences between individuals of needs and wants.
In 2020, I launch into a new study on an educational model for Learned Secure Attachment that puts agency into the hands of individuals with an awareness of their relational patterns that are difficult and desire for better outcomes in relationship through greater self-awareness and knowledge of systems.
It's time for a new era.
Looking at the lens of Identity Formation as it pertains to pre-adulthood trauma, and the transgenerational legacy formation from these traumas, it is imperative that we study and transform the way young boys’ identities are being shaped today--it is why I began working with men, women, and couples.
I do training on Trauma and Identity Formation, how trauma shapes boys in particular, and outcomes for boys with adverse childhood and adolescent conditions in adulthood. What we are able to understand and name becomes a pathway for healing and rectifying former chosen routes of thoughts and behavior. It is with this in mind that my practice and lecture series go to a broader audience around the world to provide peacemaking, love-making, and different healing and personal empowerment themes for like-minded and like-hearted people.
I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s in Integrated Social Sciences, attended the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Behavioral Economics, and am currently in the psychology graduate program at Harvard University. Additionally, I am a Somatica Institute trained and certified sexological and relationship advisor, and also hold certification in the State of Washington as a trained and certificated mediator and conflict coach. My modalities are therapeutic dialogue, embodiment practices, somatic experience, pranayama, yoga, and CBT, as well as Reiki and other energy work modalities.