About DW

It took me a detour of two business degrees and a stint in a Silicon Valley startup before I found psychology, but after twenty years the fit seems strong enough to allow me to continue helping people for another thirty years. One thing I like about psychology is that it is hard to be bored when you define psychology as the study of what humans think, feel, and do. Thus, everything humans have done and will do could fall under psychology. When I talk to a stranger, go to concert, or watch a film, I am improving as a psychologist.

My therapeutic approach is grounded in the research that indicates that the therapeutic working alliance or relationship contributes more to client improvement than choice of technique, whether that technique comes from a behavioral, cognitive, or psychodynamic tradition. In trying to build and maintain this alliance, I have found that being genuine, real, and authentic is useful, and that good therapy is infused with mutuality, collaboration, and egalitarianism. For this reason, I do not need to remain a tabula rasa, and can share some aspects of my life. I will still use care in deciding when to self-disclose in sessions, but believe that in helping you estimate whether you wish to work together, it may be helpful for you to see some aspects of the real me. It is for this reason that you may find more ‘personal’ info on this site than other therapists who believe in the tabula rasa. I can justify and defend those therapists’ theoretical stance for them. My approach is not superior, but it currently fits my efforts to best help my clients.

I use a good deal of humor in life and in therapy. I rarely use canned material (memorized jokes), so it’s hard to describe what type of humor I enjoy. Basically, I improvise, riff, or comment on what is occurring. I also like telling funny stories and adding a little embellishment, which I would never call lying, as the listener can usually notice my increased smiling at the moment of embellishment. Even in sessions that deal with some of the dark parts of living, such as impermanence and loss, there are times when a shared moment of humor is the best part of the session, demonstrating a mutual understanding.

I love and have loved many sports. Through high school I played football, soccer, and tennis. I have slowed after two knee surgeries, but still bike, snowboard, lift, swim, play ping-pong, and will throw a ball with anyone who is willing. I love working with athletes or sports fans, and can use sports psychology or analogies from sports when explaining concepts.

While I love sports, it would be wrong to pigeon-hole me as a one-dimensional sportsballer. It seems I collect college degrees like a squirrel hoarding nuts, so there must be a nerdy side to me. I also love hanging out with arty types such as musicians. I took African Drumming twice during my Ph.D., and my bucket list includes learning the drums. My main expressive form thus far has been writing. Below I offer some of my writings in the spirit of potential clients getting a chance to gauge if they think we would be a good fit.


Beyond Me: Practices for Expanding Compassion provides a detailed case for how self-consciousness and selfishness cause us suffering and offers 12 practices to help people boost their perspective taking, empathy, and compassion. This version of compassion is not limited to empathy when someone is suffering; wider compassion is closer to universal love and includes sympathetic joy, happiness over someone else’s thriving. Boosting compassion can lower anxiety and depression while increasing happiness, meaning, and purpose. It is also a key component in emotional intelligence and leadership.

Stress Management Audio CD

I created seven relaxation and stress management audio tracks utilizing my own scripts and voice. The professionally recorded tracks include Mindfulness, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualization, Lake Meditation, Mountain Meditation, Autogenic Training, and Loving-Kindness Meditation. The tracks are given out to Ohio University students, and many of my colleagues have brought the audio tracks to treatment settings across the country.

Mindfulness & Relaxation tracks

Client Handouts

I created various handouts that cite and summarize existing literatures and techniques. You might be offered one of these handouts as a supplement to your therapy.

Academic Papers

Curriculum Vitae

Appointments: 215-779-5575


Licenses:              PA #PS019060                             LA #1137                           CA #22677