With 15 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
I also have experience in Addictions, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Compassion fatigue
LPC #4201 (Expires: 2021-08-01)
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.
I had seen BetterHelp a few times on social media and signed up a few different times but didn’t actually go through with it the first couple of times. This time was no different. What convinced me to actually follow through with it is that Steve introduces himself and than 2 days later checked in with me because I didn’t commit to it. So I committed and it’s really helped not only me but it’s helped my husband even though I’m the one that signed up for the counselling. I felt really comfortable with Steve right from the start. I find it calming to talk to him about anything and it’s opened my husband up to talk to me about his past issues instead of getting frustrated with himself and with me (that’s a long story with history) so thankful for Steve for checking in with me before I even committed. Means more than what words can say
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.
The thing I needed most in the world during my time of crisis was a non-judgmental ear. Steve provided this for me, and always seemed to send words of encouragement at just the right time.
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.