ABOUT DR. MARK
A Christian Psychologist
Psychology is the study of the brain and human behavior. I earned my doctorate of psychology (PsyD) in clinical psychology from Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology. This doctoral program focused on the integration of Christian faith and science and is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
As a psychologist, I am a mental health professional, trained to provide treatment for mental health issues. My hope is to provide "evidence-based practice in psychology" which is, "the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences” (APA Policy Statement, 2005) that honors the complexity and beauty of human beings, which I believe were designed by God.
As research has shown, the relationship between client and therapist is important to the work that is done in therapy/counseling. My job is to help create a safe environment in which you can understand yourself better, develop your ability to identify your needs, and make decisions that help you lead a healthier life. As individuals, we all have our own worldview and in my therapy room, you are encouraged to take ownership over your own beliefs and values--regardless of the topic at hand. The role religion plays in counseling is determined by the client.
While I identify as a Christian and understand human nature from a perspective that integrates Christian faith and science, clients do not have to share my religious beliefs. Your beliefs will be respected in our work together. People of all faith backgrounds, gender, race, sexual orientation, are welcome.
Theoretical Approach to Counseling
My understanding of people and my approach to counseling combines principals from multiple counseling approaches also called, "theoretical orientations." These approaches include Psychodynamic Theory, Attachment Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Cognitive Behavioral Theory, etc. I believe that people are shaped by relationships, whether past or present, and that powerful change is facilitated within the context of relationship. I also believe that who we are is influenced by biological, psychological (i.e., thoughts feelings, behaviors), social (i.e., culture, environment), and spiritual (i.e., God’s work in our lives) factors.
During sessions, we may identify barriers to your mental health and help you develop skills for being connected to yourself, God, and others in a healthy way. We may explore how significant relationships and experiences have impacted who you are today and utilize techniques from relevant counseling approaches to help facilitate change where needed. My hope is that you will leave our counseling feeling empowered, filled with a deep awareness of your God-given worth, and equipped to engage with the world in a healthy way so that you can confidently pursue the plans that God has for your life.
I truly feel grateful and privileged to walk alongside others on their journeys of restoration. It's inspiring to sit with clients who are resilient and compassionate and courageous--whether or not they feel as though they are. It's exciting and encouraging to watch God working in my clients' lives and to see them feel confident and freer over time.
In order to give my clients the best care possible, I believe it's important for me to care for myself and my own needs. I care for myself by receiving support from God and my community, participating in consultation with other professionals, attending continuing education trainings, receiving my own counseling when needed, being physically active and enjoying leisure, resting, and pursuing the dreams that God has given me.
Qualifications and Experience
Prior to receiving my doctorate in clinical psychology, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a minor in Biblical studies. During the first 4 years of graduate school, I took classes in psychology, theology, and integration (of faith and science) and received supervised clinical training in a university counseling center, public schools, and community mental health settings. I provided psychological services (i.e., individual and group psychotherapy, psychological testing and assessment, triage assessment) to children, adolescents, adults, and seniors from varying socioeconomic status, age, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and faith backgrounds. My fifth year of graduate school was a one-year, full-time internship in New York state, providing services to underserved and underprivileged populations, including at-risk youth and caregivers.
My most memorable and cherished training experience was working with primarily homeless individuals at a clinic in Los Angeles' Skid Row. It was there that I learned that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, faith, etc., desires to be loved, accepted, and to belong. We all want the same things in life, but our particular struggles or life circumstances might look a little different.
I currently provide mental health treatment to youth and adults and psychological education and training to nonprofits and the Christian community in the Greater Seattle Area. I am passionate about de-stigmatizing mental illness, equipping communities to care for its members, and integrating faith and psychology.
American Psychological Association (APA)
Christian Association of For Psychological Studies (CAPS)