I am from Yellow Springs, Ohio. I moved to Austin in 1980 and have lived here ever since. As a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, I love the sea and sailing. I am an avid writer, with several publications including a short story and a series of workbooks that accompany educational DVDs used in substance abuse treatment settings. Another interest of mine is in the arts and particularly in fusion projects, such as jazz and rock fusion or mixed media work.
I am a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who has worked with substance use disorders since 1987. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. I believe there are many paths to change and recovery. I view addiction as the opposite (shadow) of creativity. Consequently, addiction can have a stifling influence on life. We move from addiction toward creativity, wellness and recovery. Sometimes we move back and forth.
Deep inside many of us is a natural inclination toward healing and recovery. With the proper approach and context, we can make this journey and flourish. I come from the perspective in working with human problems that the healer is within. The hard part is finding and accessing this part of ourselves. Sometimes we need help with this.
I worked for more than 15 years in residential treatment settings with adults and adolescents. I conducted and supervised treatment programs in prisons and other criminal justice settings for many years. For a time, my focus was training counselors and instructors to teach psychoeducational classes in accordance with the best adult learning methods. These included classes about substance abuse and cognitive methods for self-improvement and change. I worked in private and public settings including the State of Texas and Travis County.
In addition to treating addiction, I have been involved in policy making, implementation, and oversight for the past 15 years at the state and county levels. Due to the high correlation of substance abuse with anger issues and domestic violence, I specialize in working with anger problems and family violence along with addiction. I have worked in private practice with adults, adolescents, and families facing the challenges of addiction and associated problems.
Together, in a collaborative effort, I work with clients toward change using a variety of methods, ideas, and clinical models. These include Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and other cognitive behavioral perspectives, experiential practices, education, and increasing self-awareness.
I teach the Anger Management classes at the Austin Men’s Center. I have worked closely with people experiencing a range of anger issues. I use a trauma-informed, cognitive approach to help people increase their skills in self-awareness, self-regulation and mindfulness practices. These skills allow people to move beyond destructive responses to anger toward increased emotional intelligence, communication, problem-solving skills, and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Mark can be reached at (512) 477-9595 or at [email protected]