Who Am I to help you?
My story has been one of struggle with the tangled depths of depression, anxiety, and trauma and then emerging on the other side.
I grew up in a working-class family in Northern Italy. I was a lively and curious child; at the young age of 5 years old, you could find me flipping through comic books and hefty tomes on mythology. I was fascinated by the depth psychology of the human mind.
Around 12 years of age, things changed. I started to struggle with my spirituality, a sense of purpose, and place in the world. I didn't know it at the time, but my process of, as Carl Jung would call it, "Individuation towards wholeness" had started. Within a few years, I found myself tangled in a deep and dark depression that regularly led to suicidal thoughts. When I moved to the U.S., at age 19, I thought I could leave my depression behind. But, of course, it followed me here, and its dark spirit found me again and took me to work into the mines of my psyche.
My struggle with depression lasted for over a decade. I was able to overcome it, primarily due to 2 situations: attending therapy and choosing to live. Through rigorous work in my psychotherapy, I decided to dive deeper into my depression, not shying away from its darkness but seeking to understand its message. My deep dive proved fruitful, and I was able to emerge on the other side of depression, at 26 years old, with gold and insight to share with others.
Masculinity, Codependency and Purpose.
Many issues led me to feel depressed and frozen with grief, but two primary problems led me down in the dumps lack of male role models and codependency.
I did not know what it meant to be a man. My father had lacked the appropriate guidance from a male mentor due to his father dying when he was just a child. My father joined the Italian army and did the best that he could to raise me. Despite his best attempts, the impacts of intergenerational trauma can be deep cutting. I found myself a teenager with a soul-sized hole in my chest a lack of guidance that could only be filled by becoming my own man.
I found salvation in men's work and the company of solid, authentic, truth-telling men in my life. I needed mentors, elders, and role models where I had had none before. I joined a men's group as a young adult, and I began to find my voice. I was able to heal in the company of men willing to give me genuine feedback. I found clarity of purpose, brotherhood, and strength. I realized that as men, we need the guidance of elders and that we cannot do this alone. I learned to end my attempt to go at it alone and ask for support. After a series of initiatory experiences, that mimicked the ancient rites of passage that a 13-year-old boy would have received in a healthy village, I discovered my purpose and my strength.
During my past 20 years of deep healing, while moving through trauma, frozen grief and heartbreak, I found that welcoming all parts of me, including my "inner child," has proven to be tremendously helpful.Due to anxiety, depression, and trauma in my teenage years, I struggled with romantic relationships. I engaged in a codependent pattern of behavior with women. After years of emotional struggle and hard work in psychotherapy, I realized that I wanted to both rescue the women I loved, as well as being rescued by them. Learning to take responsibility for my life, learning to process and embrace my feelings, has given me freedom and intimacy I never knew was possible. I now enjoy healthy relationships with my wife, friends, family. I learned to set healthy boundaries and speak my needs.
This, and more is possible for you as well.
The reason I'm sharing all this with you, it's because my story might resonate with you. It's important to share these ideas so that you may know that you can overcome the shame and guilt that plagues your life.
Right now, I feel free, and on purpose, my clients regularly report feeling stronger, happier, and more integrated, free to be who they are in the world.
I hold a Masters in Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver and is a licensed social worker (LSW.0009922124). I am an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and its Colorado chapter (NASW-CO).
I am a psychotherapist and offer a trauma-informed, attachment-based approach to individual, family and groups, drawing from over 10 years of previous clinical psychotherapy training and experience.
Over the past 10+ years I have facilitated many group processes: from restorative justice and mediating conflict resolution circles to over 200 men’s groups under the supervision of renowned men’s therapists Jayson Gaddis and Reuvain Bacal.
In my work as a primary therapist with the Colorado Sexual Recovery Center, I have guided over 150 men in their struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction and trauma.
I grew up in Italy and understands what it takes to find your way in an unfamiliar place and the grit required to move through life’s hardest experiences.
I specialize in emotional, generational and psychological trauma, attachment dynamics and family systems. I offer Brainspotting, a treatment method which utilizes focused-mindfulness to process and discharge the core neurophysiological sources of trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms.
My approach is psychodynamic (focused on early-life and past traumatic events) while keeping my aim on present action. My therapy is empathic, experiential and supportive.
I have a particular interest for ancestral stories and intergenerational trauma passed down through the generations.
my qualifications and experience
2019: Primary trauma therapist and group facilitator at Colorado Sexual Recovery Center
2018: Brainspotting Level 1 Certification, Wichita, KS
2018: Masters of Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
2017-2018: Year-long clinical Internship at Maria Droste Couseling Center
2017: Synergetic Play Therapy training with Lisa Dion, Denver, CO
2011: Mediation and Conflict Resolution Certification, University of Colorado at Boulder
2011-2012: Jin Shin Tara: Trauma release acupressure with Stephanie Mines, P.hD
2010-2012: B.A. in Human Development, Prescott College
2010-2011: Year-long training in Qi gong energy healing at The Center Place, Boulder, CO
2010-2014: Rites of passage, trauma and somatics, Surfing The Creative
2009-2014: Co-facilitated over 200 men’s groups with Reuvain Bacal and Jayson Gaddis
2009-2012: Co-facilitator of Men’s leadership trainings with Jayson Gaddis
2009-2012: Restorative Justice Facilitator, University of Colorado at Boulder
2008 - 2019: Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping study and implementation
2006-2008: A.A. in Political Science, Florida SouthWestern State College