Hailing from the mountains of Colorado, I grew up with a love of the outdoors. As a young man, I had the opportunity to live and work at a natural healing center in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. While developing an appreciation for the medicinal plants in the area, I also had the opportunity to participate in several peyote ceremonies with the local Apache. These experiences piqued my interest in the potential of ceremonial practices involving hallucinogenic preparations in the treatment of mental and physical health issues. This interest has led me to travel to Peru on two occasions to work with ayahuasca shamans in Amazonia.
After fulfilling my duties as a father and shipping my son off to college, I decided to follow his lead and enroll at Mesa State College in Colorado, where I earned a BA in Counseling Psychology. Continuing my education, I attended Colorado State University, where I examined the effects of cultural consonance on stress and depression among persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There, as a member of Jeff Snodgrass’ research team, I also examined cultural models and mental health among online gamers. My interest in cultural consonance theory and methodology led me to the University of Alabama. I am currently working in the Yorkín River Valley, located on the Talamancan Indigenous Reserve in Costa Rica. Here, I am examining cultural consonance in the domain of “a successful lifestyle” (senuk buae in the local language) and its relationship to stress and depression among the local Bribri inhabitants. For my next project, I am interested in creating a field site in the mountains of San Martin, Peru to examine cultural models of ayahuasca shamanism among the local Quechua and Shipibo indigenous groups.