Hi, I'm John Perry. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Anaheim, CA. I'd expect that you’d like to know a bit about me before deciding whether or not you’d like me to work with you (I would, if I were you).
Now, I'm warning you ahead of time — I'm no Mark Twain, Tom Clancy, or Robert Ludlum. Read this at your own risk. (You may wake up with keyboard imprints on your forehead!) So, without further ado, here's a bit of information, well... about me.
My Background and Experience
The Formative Years
As I’ve grown older, I’ve been blessed to grow in faith (I've grown in girth too, but that's another story). For example, when I was ten years old I had had a terminal illness (viral encephalitis). Well, it was supposed to be terminal anyway, but through the prayers of many, the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and God’s sovereign will, I was healed. That experience had left a permanent mark on my faith in our Lord, a sureness about the reality of God and His love for us. I realized that I didn't die then simply because it wasn't my time... yet. Because of this experience I was aware of how brief life here is, compared to eternity afterward. I also felt as if there was something special that I was still meant to do for Him. But, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.
I've grown up locally, living my life right here in Orange County, CA. I have an older sister and a younger brother (and yes, that makes me "the middle child"). My parents were married at St. Pius V Catholic Church in Buena Park, CA. I was baptized there, and that parish has continued to be a big part of my life ever since. It was there that I attended grade-school, and there that I missed most of 5th grade because of the encephalitis and the 6 months of rehabilitation I needed afterward. After 8th grade, I attended St. Paul High School, where, unknowingly, I had begun in earnest to train as a counselor. I never really thought much of it then, but in looking back on it, I was one of those people that others just naturally sought out to help them work out problems. I was blessed by their trust in me, and I was blessed to be used as an instrument of God's healing Spirit. (I still am, thank God!)
It was during high school that I suffered my first major depression, with a few more "bouts" in the years to come. After high school, I became active with a Catholic youth group (Search for Christian Maturity in Long Beach) — fellowshipping and helping provide peer retreats for ten years. My faith and relationship with God became even more personal for me through those experiences. Others sought my help there as well, and I began to think that I had a calling to be a priest. I even went as far as attending St. John’s Seminary for a time, and later discerned a call with the Capuchin Franciscans. However, I eventually found out that I was not called to be a priest. God had something different planned for me...
The Re-Formative Years)
Remember how, after my illness, I felt sure that there was "something I was still meant to do for Him"? Well, ta-da! Here it is!
I married my wonderful wife in 1991, and we now have 3 beautiful daughters. If you've read my bit on my marriage, you know that it hasn't been all "wine and roses." We've lived through some fairly dark times in our marriage. But again, through the grace of God, and the help of a great Christian marriage therapist, we are still happily married! Through our struggles and joys, through the birth and parenting of our daughters, God continues to shape and prune me (I suppose I keep Him rather busy at that).
Throughout the years I’ve been involved in many parish ministries at St. Pius V Church. I started out as an altar boy, and, most recently, I served three years on our Pastoral Council with our pastor, Fr. Ted Olson. I’m also proud to be a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus (Council 3526) since 1996.
My Formal Education and Training
Regarding my formal clinical education, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services, and my Master of Science degree in Counseling at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). My Master's Thesis Project was on integrating Catholic Spirituality and Marriage Therapy. I had many excellent instructors there, and thus I was able to add the needed academic knowledge and training to my God-given counseling abilities (more of that "shaping and pruning" thing).
During my internship years I had access to several wonderful clinical supervisors. I was particularly blessed to have Fr. Ric Sera, Ph.D. (pastor of St. Joachim in Costa Mesa) as one of them. Before I opened my own practice, I had worked as a therapist for Catholic Charities of Orange County for seven years. During that time I:
- successfully treated schoolchildren at St. Philip Benizi & St. Joseph (Placentia) elementary schools
- facilitated a boy’s self-esteem group (Jaguars)
- adapted, implemented and facilitated a Family Life program (Making a Difference!) at various Catholic schools
- and, with both fee-for-service and Social Services’ child-abuse-referred Clients, I’d successfully treated many individuals, couples and families at the agency in Santa Ana
I'm a certified Family Wellness Instructor and am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
After I was licensed, I opened my own practice so that I could provide counseling from an authentically Catholic perspective — a therapeutic perspective that doesn't just "tolerate" or "accept" the Catholic faith, but truly values and embraces it! It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction that many of my Clients have commented on how "at home" they feel in my office. I'm happy to put the gifts that our Lord has given me to use to help heal and console His children, my brothers and sisters in faith.
Hopefully you now have a better sense of who I am, and I hope that this has helped you in deciding whether or not you’d like me to work with you. But at this point you may ask yourself (and rightly so), "Well, I know more about his history, perspective and training all right, but does all of that mean he can help me with my problems?
- Prayed about whether or not to choose me as your therapist
- You've read the rest of my web site information
- Looked up my listing at www.catholictherapists.com,
- Checked out my reviews on Yelp! and the Client Testimonials
- Diligently watched all the reruns of COPS to make sure I don't have a criminal record...
... then my suggestion, to really find out if I can help you with your problems, is for you to contact me and either set up a free in-office or phone consultation. If I can't help you, I'd be happy to help you find someone else who's right for you. I'm nice, and I'm really not scary to talk with (and I don't bark or bite), so why not call or email? You've got nothing to lose and I think you've got lots to gain!
Whatever you decide, may you find hope and healing!