Pastoral* Counselor & Coach
* I use the term ‘pastoral’ here to satisfy the Ohio CSWMF Board and to make clear that I’m not a psychologist, social worker or mental health specialist.
First of all, thanks for considering me and for taking a look at this page. I’ve provided guidance and coaching to people for more than 25 years and I still feel deeply honored and genuinely grateful every time someone invites me into their world. When it comes to working though difficult issues and building a better life, there’s nothing like a good one-on-one conversation with a thoughtful, experienced pastoral counselor who listens carefully and offers wise, practical advice. If you’re interested, I’d be glad to arrange a free initial consultation to see if working together with me makes sense for you.
Simply stated, I’ve always been good at helping people resolve difficult problems and make good decisions. I’m a warm, thoughtful person with loads of experience as a youth worker, non-profit executive, university chaplain, mentor and friend, and I’ve been a student of interpersonal relationships and community building throughout my career.
My wife Marty and I have been married since 1988, and together we raised two lovely young adults. Marty is an artist who also works for an organization serving homeless women and families.
In addition to this pastoral counseling and coaching, I’m the humanist chaplain at the University of Cincinnati, a community builder and the host of the Humanize Me podcast.
I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and studied at Haverford College and Brown University. As a teenager I became a committed Christian, and I spent nearly three decades as an inner-city minister while slowly losing my faith. Unless we’re discussing spirituality, however, even my closest friends can’t really tell the difference. I’ve always believed in the transformative power of love, and I still do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Simple as it sounds, feeling good about yourself and enjoying your life can be very difficult, especially when you don’t have the kind of support you need. Talking things through with a wise, caring, pastoral counselor is one of best ways I know of to overcome problems, find new direction, and begin improving your life in a meaningful way. Over and over, I’ve seen such conversations become the difference between ongoing brokenness and positive transformation. There’s no magic here, of course, but you should begin to see results fairly soon after we start.
A formal therapeutic relationship isn’t quite the same as a natural friendship, but with me there are plenty of similarities. For one thing, I won’t just sit there asking, “How does that make you feel?” over and over again. On the contrary, we’ll talk together about your life, exchange ideas, and probably even share some laughs. I ask questions, of course, but I also tell my clients what I think and offer clear, practical guidance. As we get to know each other, you’ll quickly discover that I genuinely care about you and what’s going on in your life. For what it’s worth, many of my clients have told me the easiest way to know what talking with me is like is to listen to an episode or two of my podcast, Humanize Me.
Probably not. Identifying and overcoming the pain of past experiences is sometimes an important part of the healing process, but I’m convinced that change mostly happens in the present, as we focus on the future. So then, as far as I’m concerned, what matters most is for us to gain an understanding of your immediate problems so we can begin figuring out how best to resolve them.
It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, but here are some common issues in my practice:
- You want more meaning and purpose in your life
- You’re in the middle of a difficult transition
- You’re trying to make sense of life on the other side of faith
- You don’t feel deeply connected to other people
- You and your partner have very different worldviews
- You’re struggling with grief or the reality of death
- You need help in making a difficult decision.
- You’re worried about your parenting
- You aren’t enjoying your work
- You need to resolve a conflict or mend a broken relationship
If you decide to work with me, we’ll start by setting some goals and road markers so we can check on whether you’re making the progress you want. I’ve had some long term working relationships, but my primary goal is to give people the tools they need to keep making progress without me, which is often accomplished in just a few meetings.
My regular fee is $100 per full-hour session, but thanks to a few generous supporters I’m able to offer a sliding scale to a limited number of clients with special circumstances. I accept all major credit cards via PayPal, but I don’t work with insurance companies. You should make your payment before each meeting, unless we have made other arrangements.
If you give me 24 hours notice, I don’t charge for a cancelled appointment. Otherwise, a $50 cancellation fee should be added to your next payment.
You can contact me HERE to request a free, 30-minute consultation, aimed at helping you decide if we’re a good fit, or a full-length appointment if you’re ready to jump right in. Either way, please include some basic background information and let me know where you live and when you’re generally most available for an uninterrupted private conversation. I have flexible appointment times during the week, including some evenings. While I sometimes meet with local or visiting clients at my office near the University of Cincinnati, the vast majority of my meetings happen via telephone, Skype or Facetime.
“I worked with Bart at a time when I was isolated by work and had very few friends and colleagues to process my life with. Our sessions helped me to recognize the importance of relationships and to get to some of the core issues that fed my isolation. In a very short period of time, with Bart’s help, I was able to reconcile with friends and family and to build new relationships in my local community.”
“Before working with Bart, I had only vague ideas about happiness and how to seek it. Bart possesses such a keen intuition that he quickly helped me find a more sustainable and, frankly, better path. As a result, my career has become more meaningful and engaging and my personal relationships have improved. Anytime I need life advice, he’s the first person I want to talk to. I’ve referred many of my friends to Bart, because he made me a better person.”
“Bart guided me through personal tribulations, helping me stay true to myself and make the most ethical choices. Bart is the best kind of teacher, inspiring those around him to do good, be good, and feel good. He made me feel recognized and important. I have never met someone so passionate about helping others and making sure that they reach their full potential.”