About David

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David Jung McGarva PhD grew up in Scotland, where he was a manager in business and government for 21 years before making the move to Southern California. Among other adventures in Los Angeles, he became a 9-1-1 operator for four years while continuing his studies and training in psychology, therapy and counseling. He is now licensed as a clinical counselor and as a marriage and family therapist and works here in the family business.

David became a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain in 1993, and he takes a particular interest in the challenges of our creative clients. He conducted a series of research projects at Saybrook University, including an interview-based study of an established Hollywood writer’s experiences; a journal-based study of the novel-writing process; and three quantitative studies of the motivation of more than a hundred writer participants. A 2008 study of the motivation of screenwriting included interviews with eleven Hollywood professionals. He is still researching what makes creators tick. David has also contributed to psychology textbooks published by Cambridge University Press and Springer.

David writes: “When a good man wants to change how he responds to things, when he wants to be a better partner, when he wants a brighter future, when he can’t seem to control his worries, those are some times he might call me. I won’t tell you how to navigate through your own life. I don’t like to ask for directions, so why should you? I believe in the skills you already used to make it this far. My job is to have a respectful conversation about what’s getting in your way now and the different routes you might choose.

“What guys usually hire me for is riding shotgun, for a short time, when the way ahead isn’t clear. I’ll encourage you to keep the reins while you look for ways through, or ways around. I learned my navigation skills the way we all do, along the road, during two marriages totaling more than 40 years, raising my family and in various jobs (and yes, the three psych degrees help). My wife Monica and I share the office, and sometimes we work with couples together.”

If you’re thinking of working with David, your journey starts here. Get in touch now. Don’t check your email. Don’t get more coffee. You can fill out this inquiry form now!

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David Jung McGarva, Ph.D., LMFT  LPCC
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