I thought it fitting to begin this new venture with a little bit of the back story…In 2005, my family and I had been serving in a church that just experienced a split; this is where two or more divisions form and one ends up leaving to start their own church. In just a matter of weeks, I found myself without a job and we found ourselves without a church home or a supportive network of people we could rely on. There is much more to the story, it’s not relevant for this post so if you are inclined you can read more about it here (Memoir of a Pentecostal Minister and The Backside of the Storm). Suffice it to say, we were struggling in almost every way possible. I was struggling particularly with high anxiety and deep depression. I had been spending a few months avoiding my spiritual relationships and rituals; blaming God for our situation. However, I finally worked up the courage to spend some time trying to pray and study my Bible. What happened next would set in motion the experiences that would lead me to share this story with you more than 15 years later.
As I sat down with my coffee and Bible, all I could muster was the word ‘God’, I immediately began to weep. It was in that moment that I heard (not audibly) God’s voice speak to my heart and spirit. These were the words, “You can be angry, hurt, mad, hate and live in unforgiveness about your situation or you can make a choice to use your experiences for healing, yourself and others”. I will never forget this moment. It was so real and so perfect for what I needed at the time. The words that stuck out to me most were choice and healing, thus HealingChoice was born.
Over the next few weeks and months, I would read everything I could about healing, and the psychology related to choice. I developed some sermon and teaching material and set out on the road to teach others about the relationship between unforgiveness and adverse mental and physical health experiences. It was later in this same year that my wife and I would start a non-profit organization, HealingChoice Ministries, to help develop healthy ministry families.
Fast forward a few years, I would go on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy from Texas Tech University in Human Development and Family Studies where my research was focused on the short- and long-term health effects of forced termination (Researchgate Profile). Our non-profit had a long-term goal of developing a retreat center for ministry families that would provide professional therapy during their stay. Late in my doctoral program I thought I might like to provide the therapy to ministers. So, I began taking some extra classes on marriage and family therapy and sought my license in the state of Texas. I began a small marriage and family therapy practice in Lubbock while working full-time at Texas Tech.
Fast forward still a few more years, I would create HealingChoice Family Therapy and transition from being a sole provider to a group practice. There was a lot of learning that took place over the next few years (sharing that experience is part of this newest venture). I would go on to become an MFT supervisor for the state of TX and an approved AAMFT supervisor. I currently provide supervision for MFT Associates and MFT Students as well as my own employees.
As life changed over the course of 2018 to 2020, I began to look for ways to be more productive and focused. For many years I have been an organized planner but had not ever been strategic about meeting goals. My work/life balance had to be better. I searched for podcasts, social media groups, planners, books, CEUs, etc. for techniques and tools that would help. There were several that really did help, and I will share those resources later.
Perhaps, one of the best things to come out of the last two years of working on achieving a better work/life balance is this newest part of the HealingChoice brand; Planning the Practice. Of the many things I have learned over the past two years, one is what energizes me. What energizes me the most is helping others achieve their goals. This is probably why I love being a therapist and a supervisor. Planning the Practice is about helping others focus and achieve their goals. I am so excited about opening this new business and look forward to working with those who want to develop their practice as a mental health provider or simply become better strategic planners.