Why I Love What I Do

Many of us live lives that are all about pursuing material and prestige goals, and immediate pleasures. There is little room in our lives for reflection, for looking at the little details and the bigger picture, for seriously and respectfully listening and speaking – unless we create that space and that time. There are always areas of ourselves that don’t receive enough attention and parts of our relationships and our work that just, inevitably, get stuck. I have come to learn that my greatest pleasure in my work is one of my greatest pleasures as a person, as a husband, father, and friend – to improve relationships and help individuals feel better about themselves while handling the truth about their lives with greater clarity, honesty, and courage. To live better. It is a good goal.

I have always tried to work both with the widest range of people and kinds of problems and goals as possible, and also focus on areas of personal interest. I have been a musician, poet, author, and actor at different times in my life, and I have maintained training and competition in a variety of sports, from baseball to boxing, since before college, and through to the present. An old mentor in a difficult sport used to teach that in order to both get the most fulfillment and achievement from our pursuits, whether athletic, artistic, intellectual, or other, we must both immerse ourselves in the history, the efforts of others at the present, and most of all not to simply be a spectator or commentator in life, but to participate as fully as we can, whether through competition or through the motivation to be as “good” as we can be. I have been a person first, and only added “doctor” on top of that foundation. For this reason, I can honestly say to most of my patients, whether coming to me with problems regarding love, work, motivation, moods, for being stuck in some area of life and mental or emotional functioning, that as a person, I have probably “been there” – you will not be talking to a remote, untouchable scientist. At the same time, everyone’s experience and story is unique, in ways that no other person could know. Any good therapist must both be able to “relate”, but also to be curious and, in my case, fascinated and grateful for the chance to enter into your life story and respectfully listen to, and help with, that story, in ways you find helpful. This is a privilege, and one that has made sure I have never been bored with my choice of career.