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User:Steve carlson/Bio

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Quick Blurb

I live in Oakland, CA, and am 38 years old. I have a wonderful wife named Olivia; we live together with 4 cats. I am a recent graduate of the PsyD program at John F. Kennedy University, and am currently working with victims of violent crime, and teaching on the side. In my spare time, I am an avid music lover, and spend my time writing songs, recording, and building out my home recording studio. I play guitar, bass, and drums, and dabble at the keys. My dad and I have been sailing competetively for the last 3 years and crew on a J/105, which is a pretty sweet boat but we can't seem to win. I also own my own home and like to do my own remodeling work (although I rarely finish anything). I am currently in the middle of an extended bathroom remodel (thank gOD Olivia doesn't mind a little chaos!) that is finally starting to look like a bathroom again.


I was born in Walnut Creek, California on May 19, 1975, the first of two children (both boys). When I was 18 months old, I contracted an acute case of bacterial meningitis, which almost killed me and left me without hearing in my left ear. I increasingly believe this experience was a critical developmental crossroads that greatly influenced my personality and family dynamics.

I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life. My parents still live in Pleasanton, California in the house where I spent my school years. I went to Amador Valley High School, and got my undergraduate degree from Northwestern University (a most institutional and impersonal school) in Evanston, Illinois (a most evil little city). I graduated from NU in December 1997 with a B.A. in Philosophy.

Upon graduation, I returned to the Bay Area and took up residence in Oakland, California, where I have lived for almost 10 years. The city has a bad rap, but is actually a beautiful place teeming with diversity, and I can't imagine living anywhere else (except maybe a cabin in the woods sequestered from society).

I worked in the tech sector for 8 years, and for a time was quite successful. Because I was good at it and the money was flowing at the time, I got lots of recognition and growth opportunities, which fueled my ego. I thought I was happy for the first time in my life. But when the bubble burst, all that went away, and I was left to confront the fact that I didn't really love technology and needed something more. After a particularly antagonistic showdown with a new manager at my last job, who showed zero interest in forming a relationship with me or in understanding what I needed from my manager in order to succeed, I quit the profession. This experience made me realize how much I value relationships, and got me thinking about myself in a very different way.

I have been in psychoanalysis for almost 8 years, and it has without a doubt saved my life. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was in my teens; analysis has helped me understand the roots of these problems and to make some important changes in my behavior that has brought newfound happiness to my life. I have been so moved by this transformation that I was inspired to give this gift back to others by becoming a clinical psychologist myself.

I enrolled in the Doctor of Psychology program at John F. Kennedy University in the fall of 2007. After four years of classes, clinical placements, and the arduous dissertation process, I completed my degree requirements in early 2012. My dissertation was entitled "The Heterosexual Male Experience of Gender Role Threat: A Phenomenological Analysis". Look it up, it was a fun project, and I learned a lot about working clinically with male clients. Along the way, I served as a teaching assistant for a number of classes, and have just been appointed a member of the Adjunct Faculty at JFK, teaching two sections of Research Methods & Statistics (*fun*).

I am currently working at Ray of Light Trauma Recovery Center in Oakland, CA. We are a psychological services provider that serves people who have been victims of violent crimes. One of our services is providing psychological assessments for individuals who are applying for a U-VISA, which is a pretty cool program that was instated to reduce the victimization of undocumented immigrants. I feel privileged to be able to help people who would not be able to access services anywhere else, and to be able to assist them in managing the many stressors that accompany the process of immigration.