I come from a troubled and sometimes turbulent upbringing. My father was in the U.S. Navy, so we moved a lot. I was raised as the youngest and smallest of two boys and experienced bullying early in elementary school. I eventually dropped out of high school before finishing my junior year and soon left home. I worked various minimum-wage jobs and barely made ends meet; I was lost and penniless. Sometimes I had to sleep at a park because I couldn’t afford a home. I’ve been in the dark and felt hopeless like my life was going nowhere. In my darkest moments, I even contemplated suicide. However, I found hope through my struggles and eventually decided to take charge of my life, working arduously to make the many necessary positive changes.
One of the first things I decided to do for myself was to enroll back in school and enroll in a GED program. After passing the tests, I took extra classes to earn my high school diploma. Eventually, I enrolled at a community college. I worked meaningless and laborious day jobs and took evening classes to become a certified EMT1-A. I continued studying and eventually became a Paramedic, earning an associate degree as an EMT-Paramedic. As I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, a friend introduced me to real estate investing. I then began studying real estate and enrolled in a real estate licensing and education program. With the help of an investor, I successfully “flipped” my first property. Since then, I successfully started and developed a real estate acquisition and management company, earned an MBA and an M.S. Ed., and graduated from The University of Pennsylvania (an Ivy League College). Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever believed that the life I now live would be possible for someone like me and my background. I’ve been with the same beautiful soul for many years, and we have a couple of wonderful children.
Additionally, in 1996, I began training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) under Jean Jacques Machado in Los Angeles, CA. After moving in 1999, I began studying under Relson Gracie, and after 12 years of diligent practice and competition, I earned a blackbelt in 2008 directly from Relson Gracie. Subsequently, I acquired another blackbelt in Judo in 2013 from sixth-degree blackbelt Fritz Goss and John Saylor. Although I don’t train as I used to for personal health reasons, I am still very fond of martial arts and follow BJJ closely, guiding my son in his journey and staying in touch with high-level practitioners around the country. Martial arts gave me a sense of empowerment. I’ve overcome many challenges in my life, and I believe I can help you discover your strengths and give you valuable tools to help empower you to help you visualize, create, and live your best life.
David is a trauma-informed professional mental health counselor in Grand Rapids, MI, with experience in helping his clients with psychoeducation and psychotherapy. He believes in the power of the human mind to overcome life’s adversities and challenges; he thinks everyone can change their perspectives and learn to live their best life! With the right coaching and counseling, he believes we can reprogram and reprocess our thoughts to successfully overcome the adverse effects of acute and chronic stress, anxiety, and trauma. Valuable therapeutic, research-driven techniques can help you become more resilient to the tortuous stresses of life. David is an EMDRIA-certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practitioner who also uses elements of Positive Psychology to help those suffering from psychological trauma. David is passionate about working with people suffering from anxiety, depression, relationship issues, social anxiety, and other psychological ailments.