My life and love
I believe it’s essential to know your therapist, their professional experience, and a glimpse of some of their life experiences. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and lived with my mom, dad, three sisters, maternal grandmother, and my young Aunt – growing up with six women in the house was a good lesson; I grew up with solid and positive female role models. I also grew up in a proud Ukrainian-American household. If anyone has ever watched the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” that was my life. I grew up attending a Chicago Public School Monday through Friday and a Ukrainian Catholic School on Saturdays. I was immersed in the Ukrainian culture, only speaking the Ukrainian language in the house and participating in anything and all things Ukrainian – including Ukrainian ballet and dancing from age five to thirteen. When I was thirteen, my family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I met most of my closest friends.
I played football in high school and college at Ohio Northern University. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Reserves in my Junior year of college. After graduating, I completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC. I served 11 years total in the Marines and served two tours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was honorably discharged, and my wife and I decided to stay in North Dakota. After my military career, I served as a Project Manager with Nokia (formerly Navteq), doing digital GIS mapping software development for a few years. It wasn’t the right path for me, so I decided to go back to graduate school through the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Program and earned a master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota. I was blessed to get an internship at the Fargo VA Medical Center, working with homeless Veterans and serving as an Outpatient Mental Health Therapist. I also served as a Readjustment Counselor at the Fargo Vet Center, working with combat Veterans, families, and survivors of Military Sexual Trauma.
The most important part of a client’s therapeutic journey is their relationship with their counselor. Research clearly shows that the therapeutic relationship, not the specific treatment protocol, is the most critical factor in positive treatment outcomes. I believe it’s essential for new and existing clients to know who their therapist is, what they stand for, and what their life experiences genuinely are.
I look forward to getting to know each other to develop that team mindset, so we can work through the challenges you face and help you find your true path!