Hi. I am Dr. Roger LaVine, a 61 year old male, of Irish, German and French descent. I am married; 28 years, with three grown children from my first marriage. I specialize in stress related issues such as adjustment to life changing events (burns, electrocution, stroke, heart attack, accident, major illness), PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder. I also have developed some powerful techniques for the more common stress related disorders (addiction, anxiety, high blood pressure, IBS, stomach aches, and depression). My academic concentration is in neuropsychology and I approach therapy from that neurological basis, i.e. retraining and rewiring the brain. I provide rehabilitation for cognitive issues such as attention (ADD, ADHD), memory, thinking and executive function issues (TBI, Hypoxia, stroke).
The clients I have worked with say that my personal life experience is what made the difference in their lives. Some of my experiences are most likely similar to yours providing a basis for authentic empathy. I have a family history of many mental illnesses. I have had many difficulties, as well as some real failures. However, I have learned, from experience, perseverance, and practice – ways of overcoming them.
Most clients tell me my most inspiring story is my recovery from life threating injuries from a boat explosion in May, 2000. Injuries included TBI, burn injuries to skin, nerves and lungs, as well as, psychological injuries – anxiety, depression, PTSD and loss of my company and lifesavings. This event was the start of a nine year journey to develop the new me. It was my transformation from a person:
- who had to be retrained to walk and use his hands
- with so many cognitive issues that I could not make change for a $20 bill at a convenience store
- had attention with memory deficits so bad that I lost 17 pairs of prescription glasses and had 5 car accidents in my first year after the incident
- anxiety so bad I felt like I could not sleep and depression so severe than my psychiatrist labeled my desire to have the pain stop as “a passive death wish”
to a person who gradually functionally evolved from:
- a low of being so dysfunctional that I was on Social Security Disability Insurance to
- driving a truck
- redoing my four-year degree to get my skills back to
- a low level analyst, then manager, to a consultant, then
- eventually earning a doctorate in clinical psychology at the top of my class and becoming a clinician
- and earning the role of Vice President of Product Development for second largest software company in Florida.
More importantly, however, I went from a person who was overly egotistical, confident, competitive, a risk taker, capable of being rude and inconsiderate when in a hurry, who was always striving for more to be a person that is grateful for what he has, slowed down enough to let others go first and to show compassion to all he meets.
I learned that true recovery is always physical, psychological and spiritual; a profound change in psyche is what leads to peace, contentment, compassion and love.
I believe the power of therapy comes from connection of the client and the therapist and often to even a greater power. I draw from existential – Catholic – Jewish – Buddhist philosophy, taking what is universal and practicing meditation and prayer every day. As you read on, you will find the wealth of professional, personal and family mental illness and life experience I bring to therapy.
Insight is the advantage gained from reflecting on experience. Every now and then, I have to catch myself and my proclivity to use personal stories to make a point. I have one for almost every situation. You will find in working with me that I love life and adventure, and am genuinely happy.
I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to enjoy many different occupations. I have also had several avocations – construction, mechanic, sailor, race engineer, and competitor (stock cars, sports cars, Category 4 bicycle racer, and marathoner). As well as a few careers, military (Infantry Captain – 101st Airborne (Air Assault)) during the Viet Nam war era, finance director – a decade in financial operations, process and organizational consultant to top 50 Insurance companies, IT entrepreneur – software company founder, organizational consultant to hospital emergency rooms, clinician, to name a few.
Currently, I am the VP of software development for the second largest software company in Florida. This wide range of work experience provides me with a wealth of knowledge in dealing with work and work related issues. Particularly work stress. However, I am most grateful for my more personal experiences.
I am a dad to three adult boys, after having been a single father as a result of divorce. I can identify with the relentlessness and stress of parenting. I remarried 28 years ago and I can say I am happy in that marriage. We have a great relationship and my children include us in the lives of our three grandchildren. I have weathered the storms of personal relationships, only to be stronger in the ones I have today.
I came from humble beginnings and a family full of mental illness. My dad did odd jobs, drank heavily and was violent. We were the only white family in the projects. It was a violent place. My grandmother came to live with us when I was 3 years old. She had spent twenty plus years on anti-psychotic medicine for schizophrenia in a state hospital. (This was when the government opened the institutions in the 1950’s.) My father increased his drinking and became alcoholic. My mother had 5 children in 7 years. Of my siblings, one committed suicide, the rest have all been hospitalized at one point or another for some type of mental illness. Myself, I fell into substance abuse, however, I have been sober and clean for the past 33 years. I have up close and personal experience living with, and being a member of a family with mental illness.
I love that I was pulled out of a bad path by the army – duty, honor and integrity. I have lived and loved adventure my entire life, still do, and I love to share it. I have run the Boston Marathon, raced bicycles and cars (amateur and professionally), traveled extensively, engaged in skiing and snowboarding. I sail and wind surf. I exercise nearly every day. Enjoying the gift of health that my higher power has provided.
Lastly, I have the proper education to be most effective at psychotherapy. My doctorate is in clinical neuropsychology in a very multicultural environment. Neuropsychology is the most scientific and physiologically based of all of the psychology schools of orientation. This allows for close work with the medical community to deal with the physical issues as well as the depth of knowledge to rehabilitate cognitive abilities such as focus, concentration, attention and memory.
In summary, I am well prepared by life to sit with you, help guide you and stay with you as you go through the storms of life on your journey, on your own transformation.
Yours in the universe,