My journey began in Lincoln Park, Michigan, where I grew up with six older sisters and without a brother. I finished my undergraduate work and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. After several years serving as a high school teacher and campus minister I moved to southern California to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. My early research, dissertation and writing all centered around how to make marriages more passionate and satisfying. I had the privilege of studying the Imago Weekend Workshop and working directly with Dr. Harville Hendrix, author of the New York Times bestseller Getting the Love You Want.
After receiving my doctorate from Fuller I had the privilege of working as a clinical psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. While working directly with both survivors of trauma and children with diabetes I began hunting for the secrets to successful families. Why does tragedy and chronic illness transform some families into masters, while collapsing others into disasters? I walked away with three unmistakable conclusions: