My grandparents emigrated from Armenia to Detroit in the early twentieth century and I grew up very much a part of the Armenian-American community there. Coming from a bi-lingual, bi-cultural family played a significant role in my development and world view, giving me an awareness of individual and cultural differences that allowed me to see situations from multiple perspectives.
At Western Michigan University I studied sociology, education, and communication. The Communication Arts and Sciences Department pioneered course work in interpersonal communication, igniting a passion in me that has remained steady. After graduating in 1971, I taught school, working with kids in public education and then with developmentally challenged children and their families as a teacher and social worker. This eventually led me into the counseling profession, focusing on communication and human relationships.
While vacationing north of Boston in the mid 1970s, I discovered the natural beauty of Maine and the desire to live and raise a family in a rural area. Acadia National Park presented a strong lure, and the Maine coast became and remains home for my wife and me.
In 1979 I received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College, where I studied numerous approaches to counseling, especially family systems theory and humanistic psychology. A year later I established a private counseling practice in Ellsworth, Maine, where I maintain an office overlooking Main Street, specializing in relationship counseling and communication coaching.
My professional life is diverse and rewarding. In addition to counseling, I consult with businesses and organizations on human resource matters, coach team leaders in the workplace, teach in a leadership program, address high conflict between senior executives, teach communication skills to hospice volunteers and consult with teachers—always focusing on good communication practices and relationship building.
Through my ongoing study of interpersonal communication, I developed a new communication styles paradigm rooted in learning style theory (click here to read article). Do You Know What I Mean? Discovering Your Personal Communication Style, published in 2009, documents the Communication Styles Framework that I use today. In addition to my counseling and consulting practice, I have presented my work at state and national conferences, and am participating in research involving the CS Framework. My mission is to share this work as widely as I can for the purpose of developing good communication practices in the workplace and in families.