I did my undergraduate work at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where I earned bachelor’s degrees in Music History/Theory and European History. After taking a Master of Divinity with a concentration in comparative religion from the University of Chicago, I returned to Texas and earned an MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. My dissertation, Naturalistic Metaphysics and the Tradition, is a study of method in theories of reality and knowledge.
During graduate school at UT, I trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and analytical psychology. I started my clinical work in a private psychiatric hospital, and later became clinical director of a 22-bed residential treatment facility near Georgetown, Texas. In 1987, I began teaching for Austin Community College as an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, and after a few years of part-time teaching and full-time clinical practice, I became professor of philosophy and religion.
My philosophical practice grows out of my experience both as a clinician and as a philosopher. Philosophical practice resembles psychotherapy, partly because many problems that bring people into therapy are, or are intertwined with, philosophical questions. The critical tools of philosophy are valuable assets in questions of value, personal identity, and meaning, and the various schools of philosophical thought about such questions offer avenues for personal exploration.