THE STUDENTS MARK WORKS WITH HAS A HISTORY OF:
- Social Anxiety
- Generalized Anxiety
- Life Avoidance masked as tech addiction
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Level I
- Sensory Integration Struggles
- Cognitive Rigidity
- Executive Functioning Deficits
- Internalization of Outward World
- Interpersonal Relationship struggles
- Family Stressors
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Masters of Social Work University of Utah
- Bachelors of Social Work Brigham Young University – Idaho
- Certified Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist (ASDCS)
- BTTI Certification for OCD treatment (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- DBT Intensive training through Linehan Institute (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
In my career I have yet to work with what some may deem as a “bad kid”. Instead, I have seen time and time again, a great kid who is struggling to understand and engage with the world around them. Whether it is tech over-usage due to trying to avoid a world full of anxiety provoking stimuli, or a student on the spectrum who is constantly throwing tantrums due to auditory sensitivity; I have found that more often than not, there is something else at play that the student, family, and other support systems have struggled to find as of yet.
Having a solid relationship with the student is important in figuring out these unknown issues that cause distress. Due to this, you will likely find me cracking jokes and talking to the students about their interests in session to build the rapport that can lead to the them digging deeper to find those unknown issues. Likewise, I try my hardest to help the students and families recognize that their active participation in therapy demonstrates strength and courage rather than weakness and cowardice that is often associated with asking for help. I find it is imperative to continually remind students and families to own not only their struggles, but just as, if not more importantly, their progress and growth.
Along with building a solid relationship with students I also find it important to help the student recognize the importance of intrinsic motivation–doing things for themselves rather solely from external influencers. Many times, I run across students who share their willingness to change, yet only attach external motivators that can shift and not provide the sustainable level of consistency needed for long-term change. I try to work with the students to recognize that external motivation is not inherently bad. My hope is to help students understand how life run off only outside factors and external influencers, they will find themselves unfulfilled as they chase that “next thing” to bring them happiness. Instead, I work to help them see that understanding who they are, how family provides the support they need in navigating life, and identifying personal passions and purpose can be the things that bring lifelong happiness due to their growth and progress and that a good grade, a raise, or big house can simply be an icing on top of an amazing life that already exists for them.
I was born and raised in a tiny Southeastern Idaho town where I learned to love everything outdoors. This love of the outdoors led me to make the move to Utah and meet my amazing wife. Together we have a young daughter and a blue heeler, Maverick. We try our hardest to teach our daughter the joy that comes with being outdoors, whether that is simply at the city park or going to explore the amazing trails of the Wasatch Mountains. Similar to my love of the outdoors, my father and grandfather taught me the joy that can come from building and tinkering. Often you can find me in my garage woodshop building items that family or friends have asked me to make for them or working on our old house that we are remodeling. There is something about taking a bunch of rough lumber that others might simply throw away or burn and sculpt it into a beautiful, new form such as a rocking horse or table.