Dr David Jung McGarva 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 studying and training in psychology, therapy and counseling. Now he is a licensed clinical counselor and marriage and family therapist, and happy to be doing that full time.
David practices Gestalt therapy, which means a powerful respect for your uniqueness (your mind is like nobody else’s, and you can’t be “fixed” like a computer by someone who isn’t interested in you), and a belief that knowing yourself helps you make the best life decisions. David joined the Writers Guild of Great Britain in 1993, and he takes a particular interest in creative clients. He is certified in creativity studies by Saybrook University (in San Francisco), after a series of research projects 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 has also contributed to three psychology textbooks published by Cambridge University Press and Springer. Finally, David serves the State of California as a Subject Matter Expert in both marriage and family therapy and clinical counseling.
David says: “When a good guy wants to be a better partner, wants to change how he reacts, wants to create a brighter future, those are some times he might call me. I won’t tell you how to navigate your life – I don’t like to ask for directions, so why would I give them to someone else? I have confidence in the skills and resourcefulness that brought you this far!
“If you’re looking for one-size-fits-all ‘tools’, or looking to spend months talking about your childhood, I wouldn’t be the therapist for you. I’m all about the present, including your present ideas about what you want to find up ahead.
“I like to see things happening fast. 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 find the trail. 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 the psych degrees do help).”
David Jung McGarva, Ph.D., LMFT LPCC
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