My Therapeutic Approach
Ever feel like there is more to this life than the one you've been living? As someone who has felt the gravity and darkness of untapped potential I know what's it's like to be living a life we don't love. The clues are within the depression and/or anxiety - these are our body's brilliantly sane ways of saying "pay attention!" Anyone can have a life that is full of passion, richness, purpose, and they feel joyfully proud to be living. It will take vulnerability, bravery, sacrifices, and perhaps some help to get this life that you love. I'd be deeply honored to be the gentle and firm guide you need to help you create this life.
My toolbox contains a wide plethora of experiential mindfulness skills, neuroplasticity, Gestalt Therapy, Sensorimotor Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Authentic Relating, Relational Leadership, and various styles of group therapy. I specialize in helping clients get to any next step whether that be with anxiety, depression, bad habits, trauma, phobias, attachment/relationship issues, addictions, or some other life dynamic you want to change. My ultimate goal is to create a safe, fun, and healing space for your whole self to arrive.
My approach is to balance following my client while also being a guide when I'm given permission. On the surface, my mindfulness background offers people a wide plethora of simple mindfulness tricks that many find really helpful. But below that, a lot of my approach involves staying in the moment, following what is being said below the surface, and getting emotionally intelligent about the wisdom our bodies are telling us. I call this “following aliveness,” an approach that often leads me toward the client’s inherent wisdom and the awakening of epiphanies. The end result that I notice for my clients is that they go into their life feeling stronger confidence in their own inner compass. Ultimately, my personal goal is to put myself of business. Our goal will always be that I am no longer needed as a helping guide so that you are empowered to walk your path on your own. If you should ever need me again, know that any client I have ever discharged was always welcome to return.
I am a humble man in many things, but I am good at what I do because I love doing it. It is my great joy to see people hungry for a change getting fed. I am fascinated to know the person who shows up when you have a safe space to let your guard down. Rest assured, all of you will be welcome here. I'm ready to support making dreams come true when you are.
A Snapshot of Who I Am
For as long as I remember, I always wanted to help people. It admittedly started with the dream of being a superhero… A fun fact you might be amused to hear is that I dressed up like Superman nearly every day for nearly ten years of my childhood. Admittedly, I haven’t fully given up on saving the world or on flying, but I have decided to approach this from a simpler more practical approach - one person at a time.
From the age of 19 I got very interested in psychology, spirituality, meditation, and yoga. As I held odd jobs that consisted of coffee picking, working on boats, doing landscaping, farming, and doing dishes, I managed to travel for much of my twenties. Those years I traveled seeking wisdom and enrichment any where I could find it. In turn, I spend significant time in India, Nepal, China, Tibet, Thailand, Honduras, Argentina, and the Hawaiian islands. In-between trips I slowly but surely got my bachelors in Religious Studies and Geography from Humboldt State University in beautiful Northern California. I was passionate about a lot of things, but what drew me to these fields was my fascination with how people think from various cultures of the world.
My background in meditation and yoga drew me to Boulder Colorado’s Naropa University where I obtained a Masters of Arts degree in Mindfulness based Counseling Psychology. It was a remarkable program that is longer and more thorough than many of it’s competitors. I was able to dive into not only the theory and skills of clinical practice, but also how to hold remarkable attentive space for the people I am with. Over the years since graduation, I received more specialized training in addictions, trauma, attachment, neuroplasticity, mindfulness, meditation, pharmacology, Bridges Out of Poverty training, Gestalt Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Various Styles of Group Therapy, and Authentic Relating.
I began working with incarcerated clients within the justice system in Boulder County in 2012 and became the Program Coordinator for the Boulder County Jail's Jail Education and Transitions (JET) Program in 2014. Although I left in 2018 to start a private practice for adults and teens, I remain firmly committed to the cause of helping the underdog. Last year with the help of my friends Laurie Lazar and Ryel Kestano I have helped create a non-profit that offers authentic relating training workshops (www.authenticrelating.org) in jails and prisons. I also was able to get on the TEDxCU stage and share why I believe doing humane work with the inmate population is of value to the rest of the world (The Value of Compassionate Incarceration). You can also find me leading Authentic Relating groups and trainings in the community, mentoring teens on a local basketball court, and working with families at Kidstuff Counseling out of Longmont Colorado.
I currently live in Boulder, Colorado with my partner Jade, seven-year-old son Orrin, three-year-old daughter Aurelia, my dog willow, my cat Luna, and my fish Ziggy Stardust, Elton John, Marty McFly and Biff. In my free time you’ll find me outside, playing in my garden, and dressing both my kids up like superheroes and allowing them to beat me up.
What’s with the name “Jahmaya”
I got the nickname Jahmaya after a rather impactful year I spent running around in a loin cloth in the jungles of Kauai. It means the “dreamer and the dreamed” and to me this symbolizes that we have a creative role (dreamer) in regards to the reality we live in, but at the same time - we are also surrendering to what is fixed (dreamed) and can't be changed. We can do a lot to our experience by changing our perspective, but on the other hand we must also learn to turn toward what is and a way of adapting to the static parts of life. As the Buddha once said: "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." We all have to face obstacles and can suffer at times, but at the same time, we are each empowered as dreamers who can shape the way we relate to the hand we're dealt and turn misfortunes into opportunities.
If you want to learn more you can read the whole story here: The Making of Jahmaya: A Transpersonal Tale