Having been raised as an only child and a second generation American, my father was a functional alcoholic who taught me the meaning of hard work and relational disconnection. My Italian mom was nurturing, provided unconditional love and began teaching me how to cook at age 13. When my parents divorced when I was a young teen, it left me feeling hurt, angry, confused, lost and alone. At seventeen, I joined the US Marines, hoping to prove my worth or die trying in Viet Nam. Fortunately, I was never shipped overseas. That four-year stint resulted in drug addiction, two meritorious promotions and a spiritual awakening that has kept me sober since November 1976. After an honorable discharge, my formal education began in the allied health profession, followed by biblical studies, a Masters in Divinity, a Masters in Theology and a Masters in Community Counseling.
My spiritual journey began taking root in 1978 through The Navigators ministry. In 1982, I married my one and only wife; she blessed us with three children, and continues to be instrumental in helping me develop into a better man. After completing seminary, I served in inner city rescue ministry for nearly 12 years, then returned to active duty as an Army Chaplain due to 9/11, and retired in December 2013. I then worked for the Veterans Health Administration in a psychiatric residential treatment facility for mental health and substance abuse disorder; I retired in September 2019.
Life is full of uncertainties and it rarely turns out as we had planned. I believe that we are sojourners in this world and need the support of a healthy community of family, friends and a life grounded in the truth that's wrapped in love. We all have made mistakes and poor choices along the way; I know that I am no exception here. I also know that the world isn't always a safe place and some of us have suffered trauma at the hand of others. Sometimes, those whom we had trusted to keep us safe actually caused the harm. So whether we struggle with guilt and shame, anxiety, depression, anger, substance abuse, addictive behavior or simply can't seem to make sense of life, we shouldn't allow ourselves to journey alone. I believe that there are solutions to life's challenges. Those solutions, though not always easily uncovered, are designed to be revealed by embracing the struggle together and pushing through them. We are not designed to navigate life alone, nor avoiding life's difficulties through denial, self-medication or any other unwanted or unhealthy behavior that masks the pain. I believe that as humans in the Western culture, we tend to suffer in silence. What is that about? Consequently, I believe we should all begin with a very short, but profoundly deep question: "Do I want to become well?"
During my four plus decades of recovery, it has been a privilege to assist people as a chaplain, teacher and counselor. Listening to my clients' stories has also helped me become a better person and certainly, a more empathic listener and less of an interrogator. I consider myself a fellow pilgrim in this journey called life who longs for a place where righteousness, peace and joy abounds. I enjoy working out daily, cooking, reading for personal growth and professional development, teaching, encouraging others, meeting positive and like-minded people, driving my 1972 VW and seeking to maintain a healthy balance in my life.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Trauma and abuse
- Anger management
LGBT , Relationship issues , Family conflicts , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Eating disorders , Parenting issues , Self esteem , Compassion fatigue , Drug and Alcohol Addiction , Forgiveness , Guilt and Shame Read more...
Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Solution-Focused Therapy
LPC #LPC-1815 (Expires: 2022-09-02)
one session with Mark could change your life.
This is my first time in counselling and it was a great experience. Having someone who is genuinely willing to listen and understand you is such a big thing for me. Even tho I just ended the subscription due to some issues, Mark would still sent me messages that I needed to hear. He's great and honest with his words, and i didn't felt uncomfortable opening up to him.
Mark has been so good a providing me a safe space where I feel I can open up. I don't feel rushed by him to recover or heal faster