I am a Counseling Psychologist in full time independent practice in Seattle, Washington. My concept of practice encompasses the LGBT communities and their relationship to mainstream American culture. How this relationship is enhanced by psychology is at the center of my professional focus and the heart of my passion. For further information about my practice, please see details on my Professional Services page.
In addition to my Counseling Psychology practice, I work as a lecturer, consultant and activist. I am committed to the application of psychological knowledge for the benefit of our culture and society – in particular, the ending of racism, sexual prejudice and all forms of discrimination. Check the Home page for my current speaking, consulting and writing projects. Selected publications are available on my Publications page, and a complete list of all of my articles, lectures and related activities in organized psychology can be found on my Vita.
My commitment to progressive social policies for all diverse groups has sparked my involvement in organizational psychology. I am actively involved in the American Psychological Association (APA), and have served in a number of positions in APA governance, including its Board of Directors and the Board of its Insurance Trust. I have also been a member of the Washington State Psychological Association (WSPA) since 1984, and have been involved in a number of the Association’s Committees. See details on my Vita. For twenty years, I have also been affiliated with the University of Washington’s Psychology Department as a clinical faculty member, supervising students, interns and conducting trainings on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.
Lastly, I have been an aviation psychology evaluator for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 24 years. I conduct psychological evaluations for pilots and air traffic controllers. More information about this aspect of my practice is available on my Professional Services page. My written work on this topic is available on the Publications page.
If you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning film Milk, you know the time, place and social context in which my professional identity was born. As a young high school teacher from a small town on the California coast who was just coming out, the late Seventies brought me into the fight of my life. Those of you familiar with that era know that in 1978, an initiative to prohibit gay people from teaching in the California public schools was brought to the state’s voters. I was terrified. Thank God for Harvey Milk, who coalesced support for the rights of gay teachers and all gay people in California. His life, and ultimately his death, taught me what an activist does: confronts oppression, speaks out, and most of all – gives people hope.
Despite the victory at the polls that year, I decided to go back to school to become trained as a Psychologist. I saw that our community was in need when it came to mental health and well-being, and I received my Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Washington in 1983. After a dissertation on the psychosocial correlates of sexual dysfunction in gay men and an internship at a queer mental health agency, I started full-time independent practice in an office in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle in 1984. I found early on that the profession was so diverse, and the lesbian and gay database in psychology so new, that my own clinical and research interests in sexual orientation enabled me to make a contribution to the mental health needs of lesbian and gay people, as well as educating a dominant culture in dire need of accurate information about sexual orientation.
After I started my practice, I began to explore particular areas within the competent and ethical treatment of lesbian, gay and bisexual clients. As it happened, I had been working with a number of men who had been abused - both emotionally and physically - while undergoing prior “therapeutic” attempts to change their sexual orientation. The Lesbian and Gay Concerns Committee of the Washington State Psychological Association was exploring the potential abuses of what is known as “sexual orientation conversion therapy”. In the subsequent opportunities to write articles and co-author the American Psychological Association’s policy statement on Conversion Therapy and its Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian and Gay Clients, as well as lecturing and writing a book on the subject, I found a number of important projects. My practice now includes my community, our profession, and the culture.
Our culture is becoming more diverse by the day. That is the reality. If we are to live together, we must understand – and hopefully care for – one another. As long as prejudice and misinformation are enshrined among the mainstream groups, and the reality of privilege (be it associated with male gender, white ethnicity, heterosexual identity, high socioeconomic status, Christian identity, abled status, or youth) is denied, diverse groups are at risk for discrimination, and even violence. The struggle against racism, heterosexism, ageism, sexism and related prejudices is not over. I am proud to be part of a movement that works to end all forms of discrimination and prejudice, and honored to be part of a profession that has contributed so significantly to this struggle.