September 25, 2020

Background and Vision

I became a veterinarian in 1979, received a PhD in veterinary informatics in 1998, and earned a Masters degree in social work in 2009. Since then I have been developing software independently.

When I was a practicing veterinarian I saw many colleagues struggle more with business and interpersonal issues than with the demands of medicine and surgery. For many years I taught effectively on these subjects at Virginia Tech and Iowa State University, while also developing software with the Bioinformatics Research Group. However, it was not until my social work training in individual, marriage, and family therapy that I began to understand the underlying causes of these issues and how they are similarly expressed in the workplace. People often bring the same character traits, anxieties, defenses, and coping strategies to work that they use at home.

For example, in social work one learns about a narcissistic parent who suffers from a severely deflated self-esteem. He often defends against feeling that emptiness by using his family and others to create and maintain his illusion of perfection. He has no tolerance for criticism which he defends against by blaming others for his failings. People who work for a person like this often end up doubting their own competence, value, and sense of belonging in an organization. While it is never pleasant to work for or supervise someone like this, understanding their defensive patterns and recognizing your own reaction is helpful in discovering ways to communicate and work together more effectively.

Conflicts among people are unavoidable in business. The choice is between reacting with familiar defenses and coping strategies, or responding with an understanding of self and others. It is essential that employees develop an understanding of these issues and learn to work effectively with others because there are no technologies, problems, or solutions that do not involve people.

I help people understand their past patterns of interacting with others in the workplace and with that insight develop more effective ways of restoring, building and maintaining working relationships in the future. In addition, I help people identify personal goals along with the strategies and skills that will help them achieve those goals.

I provide a free 90 minute consultation. Please contact me using the form on the contact page so we can talk about ways that I may be of service.