With 16 years of experience, my areas of interest include depression, anxiety, self-image, healing from trauma and abuse, divorce recovery, overcoming shame, life transitional issues, matters of loneliness, and empowering others to pursue their dreams and career aspirations. I earned my B.A. in Political Science at Montclair State University in New Jersey in 1994 and gained my Masters in Counseling at Denver Seminary in 2002. I've been a Licensed Professional Counselor (#4201) in Colorado since 2005.
My counseling approach usually incorporates cognitive-behavioral techniques, Rogerian theories ("person-centered" counseling), and family systems methods. I am passionate about helping my clients feel understood in their time of suffering — with their feelings validated, their life story honored, and their weaknesses, mistakes, failures, longings, etc., accepted without a hint of judgment. While I think I have much to offer my clientele, I am not a “know it all” therapist. I want to learn from those who have turned their pain and suffering into something beautiful.
As a resident of Westcliffe, Colorado, I enjoy hiking, cycling, and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the American West. I have biked across the USA three times, the latest trip in 2017, and have authored a memoir about my first trip, titled "Under a Triumphant Sky: A Bike Across America Story." I regularly make public presentations about my travel experiences and encourage others to live boldly and to pursue their dreams.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Trauma and abuse
- Self esteem
- Coping with life changes
Addictions , Relationship issues , Family conflicts , Grief , Intimacy-related issues , Eating disorders , Parenting issues , Anger management , Career difficulties , Bipolar disorder , Compassion fatigue , Abandonment , Aging and Geriatric Issues , Attachment Issues , Cancer , Codependency , Communication Problems , Control Issues , Coping with Natural or Human-Caused Disaster , Divorce and Separation , Eating and Food-Related Issues , Emptiness , Family of Origin Issues , Family Problems , Forgiveness , Guilt and Shame , Isolation/Loneliness , Life Purpose , Midlife Crisis , Military and Veterans Issues , Money and Financial Issues , Mood Disorders , Multicultural Concerns , Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks , Phobias , Post-traumatic Stress , Self-Harm , Self-Love , Sexual Assault and Abuse , Social Anxiety and Phobia , Workplace Issues , Young Adult Issues Read more...
Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Narrative Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy
LPC #4201 (Expires: 2023-08-31)
I have appreciated Steve's ability and willingness to listen, respect, and above all support me through good and bad in my life's journey.
Steve is always willing to listen and I appreciate how open he is. After two sessions, I have already had multiple breakthroughs about my emotions. I really appreciate Steve!
Steve is a great listener and shows empathy. Highly recommended talking to him about whatever is on your mind.
Steve is great. He is so kind and empathic.
Steve is thoughtful and encouraging. I really appreciate the thoughts and ideas he adds to this experience. He is friendly and enjoyable to speak with.
Steve was great. And I felt comfortably enough to open up to him with some very private issues. Very understanding and helpful.
Steve makes me feel acknowledged and validated. He understands my emotions and has a wonderful calm demeanor. I feel he truly cares and wants to help guide me. Past therapists have felt like bumps on a log - not Steve! He pays attention and asks questions to get me to open up.
Off to a great start! I appreciate his care and concern and counseling style. Works well for me!
I consider myself very fortunate to have Steve as my counselor. I've never done therapy before, and Steve was great at explaining the process and making me feel comfortable. He's compassionate and sympathetic and easy to talk to. He reaches out to check in with me and provides a thoughtfully written "newsletter" each week. I've made good progress towards caring for my mental health, and Steve is a big part of that. Not too Shabby!
Steve is very friendly. He is my first therapist and I had no prior experience with therapy. He made me feel safe.
He is very kind, understanding and respectful. He says the right things. I wish more people had Someone like Steve to talk to.
Awesome therapist that really makes you feel at ease! Would recommend highly :)
I enjoyed working with Steve. He's a great guy and a great councilor, and isn't afraid to point you in the right direction.
Steve’s continued support has been amazing. He’s a great listener who always has great advice.
Steve is really kind and truly cares! There is no judgment, he just wants your heart to be happy. He checks in proactively in between sessions and sends informative newsletters that always hit home. Thanks, Steve!
Extremely understanding person and a great listner
Steve is awesome! He listens and understands
He is an awesome counselor and makes you feel heard and understood.
Steve is awesome!!! he genuinely cares , respects and supports me, I could not have asked for a better counselor!!
Steve is a great listener, doesn't judge, and offers great advice. I feel great about how this is going.
Steve provides the most comfortable, accepting environment for me each and every time we talk. He is insightful, thoughtful, and easy to talk to. He is the best therapist I’ve ever had!
Steve gives meaningful homework + is great about checking in throughout the week between sessions. Even working with him for a short period of time has helped me shift my mentality to a more positive note!
I feel that Steve is genuinely concerned when I speak about my issues and truly is trying the best he can to motivate and give me sound tailored
advise through my hard time.
He’s an awesome listener and very open minded.
Steve and BetterHelp have been heat when I needed help and someone to just talk to and listen to me when something is weighing me down
Steve is an excellent counselor; he has really helped me turn my life around. When I struggle he is an incredible source of support and help, and he offered me tools that I utilize in my daily life.
I feel very supported by Steve he has so much patience with me as I am struggling thru a tedious divorce I just feel so helpless but he really tries to empower me it's very emotional and he shows me compassion I am so glad I have him to talk to each week
I've only "seen" Steve two times now. However, he has helped me to uncover things that could have lead to my current issues, that I did not even think about. He's been very helpful
Steve is a uniquely kind and empathetic individual who does a great job of making me feel heard and understood. I appreciate that he checks in outside of sessions, which reminds me that someone cares.
He’s helping me work thru the crazy drama that has been and is my life. And helping me deal with the disappointments I’ve been having dealing with my health issues and stay positive that something out there will help me someday. I mean there are advances everyday right? So I’ve needed someone like Steve to talk things thru. And help me not to spiral down in the process. Which is a massive help. Because having as much drama as I do in my history and as many current health issues (which have caused a lot of those dramas or made them overwhelming to face) has been a task I have avoided for a long time because I have needed a safe place to face them in. And Steve is giving me the safe place (from the safety of my bed thanks to the platform) to finally face some of the things that feel like they’ve been haunting me my whole life.
Steve was always kind and always pushing me to challenge myself. He was great at allowing me to work through things without being pushy.
Steve is the best!!! I've had a few counselors before, and Steve is the first one that made me feel fully seen, heard, and cared for. His passion for living life to the full is inspiring and has rubbed off on me for sure! He has the biggest heart and is so caring, while not babying me and really pushing me to be the best I can be. He's totally helped me navigate my emotions and has made me feel safe and good in my own skin. I could go on forever. Like someone else said in these reviews.
HE FOR SURE SHOULD GET A RAISE OR A PARTY!
When in need, Steve is a person I immediately think to turn to. I appreciate his empathy and care.
Steve actually makes therapy fun. He understands my concerns, and offers a ton of inspiration to live my best. I am doing great! Thank you Steve!
I’ve only had one appointment so far with Steve but in those 50 minutes I felt immediately better talking about the things that have been keeping me down and upset. It’s good to have someone like him around and I’m glad he’s my counselor.
We have had only three sessions but I feel Steve has already helped shape and guided me onto a pathetic of healing, understanding and learning. I look forward to what the next few sessions hold.
In the few sessions that I have had with Steve, I have felt instantly heard, understood, and supported. He has been able to challenge my way of thinking in a positive way and has helped me start on the journey of taking better care of myself.
Steve was such a compassionate and gracious person for me to talk through as I was struggling through some anxiety issues. Between sessions he sent me encouraging notes and videos to help keep me focused on gratitude and moving forward in a thankful posture. I’d highly recommend Steve.
Great guy amazing to work with
He's good at what he does and I would totally recommend him to a family member or close friend
I have just started to use BetterHelp and speaking with Steve but it has been all positive so far.
Very attentive, honest and open in our talks -- which I appreciate a great deal.
Such a kind and uplifting spirit. Always took the time to truly listen and try to understand me! Gave excellent advice and the reassurance I needed. Had me laughing quite a few times too honestly the perfect balance of counselor and friend
Understanding and helpful!
Steve is amazing, only been a few sessions but he does a great job at getting me talking without feeling forced. I feel 10x better after every session.
Steve is thoughtful and generous with his words. He's easy to talk to and guides you toward your goals.
He is amazing. He is great at his job.
I highly recommend Steve. We have only been working together for a few weeks, but I find he is a great listener and has a really positive, genuine personality. He creates a safe and trusting environment, and offers helpful, constructive feedback.
When I started with Steve, I was suicidally depressed and had little hope or enjoyment in life. After a few months, this has been turned around. Steve is open-minded and completely non-judgemental. He is very understanding, a really good listener and very knowledgeable. He's a real pleasure to talk to, with a lot of positivity. On top of all that, he seems like a great guy as well as a great counsellor, having done amazing charity work. I'd recommend him to anyone.
Dr. Garufi is more like an old friend than a therapist, much respect for him.
Steve is great! He has such a kind and goofy heart, and listens intently to your concerns. I love how he questions me to get me to answer from my prospective.
I really enjoyed my time talking with Steve about career changes that I am trying to pursue. After our first conversation he emphasized to me the need for hope. After our time together I am seeing myself in a greater light and I am on the path to changing my career and my mindset about that process.
Steve is very mindful and open. He makes it very easy to talk to him and there is no judgement from him. He challenges you to change and grow but in a very friendly and encouraging way. Most of all, he has given me hope. In a short month, my mindset has changed and I feel very encouraged about the path I am on. I consider Steve a good friend and a great support to me though some dark days.
Steve is an incredible counselor who has helped me so much! I really appreciate his approach to counseling, his honesty, and his empathy. Highly recommend.
Steve is amazing and does a good job at making this seem like less of a counseling session and more of a conversation between friends. He helped me talk through my anger issues and road rage and gave me lots of problem solving tools. I highly recommend him!
Great listener and very friendly and trustworthy from the start. Very engaging as well and is very motivated.
Steve is great, I’ve found him to be encouraging, friendly and talking with him has helped me identify and work on changing my negative thought patterns. His counseling style is warm and friendly which helped me relax, as I was a little nervous at the start! He is a mentor and a friend as well as a great counsellor.
Steve's introduction is that of a friend 1st and counselor 2nd, which for me was a great first impression. He listens and empathizes with your situation. Offers good advice not just from a rule book or the norm, but purely based on my situation. I look forward to my phone sessions with him and I feel more positive after the call.
Steve is a very kind and light-hearted guy who really cares. He’s clearly committed to his patients and does his best to understand them.
Steve is compassionate and kind and listens and is understanding and easy to chat with!
Steve is a kind, compassionate, intelligent and professional counselor. I wholeheartedly endorse his services!
Steve is great. I haven't been with him long but he has made me understand a few of my issues already. I'm certain I will be feeling better soon. Thanks Steve.
Steve is a very nice and supportive guy. He's super friendly and is always willing to talk and offer solutions or just help you see it's in your head. Anyone dealing with some of life's troubles can just talk with him like an old friend. Thanks for everything Steve.
Working with Steve was a true pleasure. He's a great listener and really knows how to diagnose the root of the problem. I always felt at ease during our conversations and I felt significantly better after just a few weeks of working with him.
I just signed up for this service recently and was first matched with Steve. I’ve only ever done in person talk therapy. But I find online therapy to be much easier and accessible. I’ve found that I’ve received an immense amount of support and valuable resources from Steve and have definitely felt as though I’ve benefitted from his help and this service as a whole.
Steve is excellent and can really get at the root of issues that bother you. Steve has helped me so much. I can't thank Steve enough.
When he hasn’t heard from me in just a few days, Steve checked in. He validated my feelings, and he made me feel safe confiding in him. I genuinely believe he has my best interests at heart and I am thankful I was matched with him.
Steve is thoughtful and gently persistent in trying to work with me to establish treatment goals and appropriate strategies.
I have changed as a person since I started counseling with Steve. He has helped me so much. He is really a great counselor. I have had many counselors in my life but he had helped me more than anyone has before. I am thankful I decided to try BetterHelp in June because now I am getting to be where I have wanted to my whole life. Thank you, Steve!
Steve has a lot of empathy and compassion for the situations that he encounters during counseling. He senses me updates, checks up on me between sessions which I very much appreciate. Steve has a passion in his field and I feel important and not just someone on his list.
Steve is friendly, outgoing, and genuinely caring.
Steve helped me a lot. He challenged me and asked good questions - always with a gentle spirit. When I think of Steve, as my counsellor, I just want to gush. *Gush* *Gush* Gush*. He helped me a lot.
Steve is a good counsellor. He went out of his way to make me feel comfortable and safe in sharing with him. He has a wonderful sense of humor that can bring light to any situation.
He’s really patient and understanding about everything I talk to him about and gives me really sound advice about things and is there when I need someone to listen. Honestly, he’s the best counselor I’ve had.
I can’t describe how well Steve has helped me through everything I was going through.
Steve is a great guy and a very astute counselor. He is able to see through and see what matters. He is a very compassionate and life-loving individual. All of that counts!
Steve is very open and quickly catches on to topics that need discussion. He is comfortable to talk with and totally non judgmental.
Steve offers guidance in the exact way that I’ve been looking for. His approach has been goal-oriented with me being able to start seeing progress and recognize patterns quicker. He listens and has compassion, is very authentic and genuine, and has an interest in helping me experience actual growth. I think BetterHelp did an excellent job matching me with him.
Steve is pretty awesome. I really needed someone to talk to and not only did he listen, but he also told a story that related to what I was going through. This helped me tremendously and really made me comfortable enough to open up and pour myself out. When you’ve suppressed emotions for years, that’s a huge step in the right direction. Thank you Steve.
A great support, really easy to connect with. Will prove you with as little or as much feedback as you want. I really appreciate his work and he’s helping me fight through my depression caused by chronic pain.
Steve has done a great job listening to me and giving me the space to decide what path I want our sessions to take. I am so grateful for his knowledge and expertise. Thanks Steve!
Steve is a very friendly, caring, and responsive counselor. I appreciated that he instantly sought to build rapport by utilizing video conferencing, thereby making the BetterHelp experience more personal. He understands that relationships and trust are a big part of breaking down the walls and finding healing. Everything is on the patient's own time, and that is reassuring. Highly recommend.
I have only been working with Steve for a few weeks, but it's been amazing. He asks things of me that I never considered, and has helped me a lot in such a short time. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen during our time working together. So glad I gave myself the chance to find the counselor for me.
Steve was absolutely so helpful in just the few days that we talked. Due to my poor internet connection I had to switch counselors. He really cares and helps you in all the best ways that he possibly can.
Steve is an excellent counselor and has been very helpful in the short time I have worked with him! I appreciate his flexibility and willingness to help.
What I like to say about Mr. Garufi is that this man has helped me more in the month I have talked to him than my Veterans affairs therapist has done in 3 years. I am so glad I was matched up with him.
HE DESERVES A RAISE OR A PARTY!!!!
Steve is simply amazing. He is encouraging, empathetic, and just wonderful. He helped me through some pretty serious anxiety issues.