I started Wisdom Professional Counseling in 2012 to fulfill a long-term dream of owning my own private practice to provide excellent counseling for individuals, couples, and children going through difficult times in their lives. One of my core competencies and central beliefs in the process of personal growth is that the working relationship I have with clients is what helps most. I have two master’s degrees from two top-ranked graduate programs in counseling and theology and extensive experience working with adults, couples and children. But what I find people benefit most from is that I am fully engaged in their personal story and struggle, am with them every step of the way, and offer the wise counsel they need.
Counseling is actually my second career. I was in the mortgage banking and consulting world for about 20 years. The last 5 years was a really great experience as a consultant on several projects for Bank of America helping migrate banking platforms for their large corporate clients such as Starbucks, Pulte Homes, and Centex. This deepened my ability to work well with a client (often the cash manager) over a 6-9 month process of change. It also introduced me to the stress of career transition as I was given larger client portfolios without the security of a position. So, I also understand intimately what folks go through in their careers as they process the stress of a current job and navigate change to something better.
During my work, though, I always wanted to work more closely with people and to be in more critical junctures of people’s lives through crisis and change. At first, I thought this meant a spiritual calling to fulltime ministry which explains my training at one of the best seminaries in the country – Dallas Theological Seminary. My spiritual belief is very important to me and guides everything I do. For me this is based on a biblical faith in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. And I believe He wants me to reach and show respect to all people which is why I operate from this biblical base but don’t advertise myself as a Christian therapist because I believe God wants me to serve a wider audience than just those seeking that kind of therapy.
Another part of my journey was singleness. I was 40 when I met my wife, Jill. There was a point where I really thought maybe I was supposed to be single the rest of my life but God answered a huge desire and prayer by providing her as my wife and partner. Our desire was to have 4 kids but after a period of infertility we decided to adopt through Gladney. We were blessed to adopt triplet girls domestically and brought them home when they were 12 months old to find out two weeks later… that Jill had already been pregnant for 9 weeks. So we had all four girls in 8 months. That was in 2007. But back in 2005 Jill encouraged me and supported me in completely changing careers and going back to school (again) for a counseling degree to fulfill my calling to work directly with people.
In 2008 I completed a Masters degree from the University of North Texas whose counseling program has consistently ranked in the top programs in Texas and the nation.
I wanted to stretch myself and gain the best experience I could so I worked as a counselor intern at a domestic violence program called Denton County Friends of the Family where I helped individuals put their lives, marriages, and families back together. I also worked as a counselor intern at the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County with children that had been sexually abused. And I also grew in my counseling experience in the private practice world as I worked for a small practice in Frisco. In 2012 I became a Licensed Professional Counselor.
It wasn’t long after we had our children that my personal seams started unraveling. Trying to be a good husband to Jill, finish grad school at night, work as an intern and care for our girls revealed some weaknesses in parenting I never knew I had. I was stressed, short-tempered, and sleep-deprived. Some of my friends who were play therapists were having success with parents they worked with so I decided maybe I should take a play therapy class just to be a better dad.
I took a post-graduate course called Introduction to Play Therapy in what was Dr. Garry Landreth’s last class of his teaching career at the University of North Texas. Dr. Landreth is well-known in the play therapy world and founded the Center for Play Therapy at UNT which is the largest play therapy training program in the world. He was a kind and thorough teacher and I am still spurred by his encouraging words to me after watching one of my sessions with a child, “Dean, you’re a natural. If this program does nothing else than make you a better dad, it will have been worth it.”
What I did was I went home and started playing in a more intentional and attuned way with my girls. This changed my relationship with them and in effect changed me as I parented them. We still have play times at their age now but it is slowly being replaced by talking about life as we have devoted times together. That made all the difference. Seeing the benefit I decided to attain more training and became a Registered Play Therapist. You can look online. I am the only male Registered Play Therapist in 20 miles.
So I hope this has given you an idea of who I am and some areas of specialty. I tend to get a lot of cases related to men’s issues, abuse, marriage, parenting, and children.
We live in the Frisco area and are actively involved in our church. We love Pine Cove and have been attending family camp since our girls were toddlers. Our girls are busy with each of them involved in some great activities like horses, gymnastics, volleyball, softball and soccer. It is not unusual to find not just 4 girls in our house but 5, 6, 7, 8 or more with lots of their friends coming by to play, run lemonade stands and hang out. An environment that Jill is great at making fun. Our house is further interesting by Nick and Noel, two sweet Havanese pups we got in 2017. As well as Ringo and Poppy, our two Parakeets and various other hamsters and goldfish.
Personally, my blood runs deep Maroon as I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. I have a small farm in east Texas outside of Winnsboro that has been in my family for over 150 years where I raise Loblolly Pine trees for investment. I am lethal with a Stihl chainsaw and proud of my cedar split rail fence I installed myself. I am also a Master’s Swimmer and am training for my first half-Ironman in Galveston in 2018. My two favorite rides are my Ford F-150 4X4 and my Orbea Ordu M30. And my last favorite to share with you: my parents are close by and moved down the street from us a few years back and my sister now lives about 3 miles away. Means a lot to me that we are all together and close.
Licensure and Certifications
- Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor
- National Certified Counselor
- Registered Play Therapist
- 2008 Master of Education University of North Texas, Counseling
- 1998 Master of Theology Dallas Theological Seminary, Educational Leadership
- 1985 Bachelor of Science Texas A&M University, Agriculture Economics
- Professional Membership in the American Counseling Association
- Professional Membership in the Association for Play Therapy
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