I'm Ron Potter-Efron. I grew up in St. Paul, MN, the last-born of four brothers including my twin brother Don. My parents emphasized getting a good education and between us the four brothers have three Ph.D's and a Master's Degree. I graduated from Macalester College and then Purdue University and the University of Michigan with a Ph. D in Sociology and later an M.SW in social work. My parents also emphasized helping people with that education as against just thinking about things. That's why I've made a career as a therapist and writer. I've been a mental health and chemical dependecy therapist for over thirty years. I'm a Licensed Independent Social Worker as well as a Licensed alcohol and drug dependency counselor in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a Diplomate (correct spelling) of the National Anger Management Association and provide training for anger management certification through NAMA.
My specialty is anger management and domestic violence prevention. I've been working in this rapidly developing area for about twenty years now. I've run many groups in both areas. Right now my wife Pat and I are co-therapists (with Chastity Drake) facilitating a 54 session domestic violence prevention group for moderate to severe offenders. We also run a ten week group for less severe offenders at our clinic in Altoona, Wisconsin. I see many clients with anger problems individually as well as counseling angry couples and families.
I began writing in 1987, first editing a special edition of The Journal of Chemical Dependency on the topic of shame (with Pat) and then the two of us wrote Letting Go of Shame, our first book for the general public. Since then I've published several other books (described in the Books and Publications page of this website). My most recent publication is called Healing the Angry Brain. I'm excited about it because my goal here is to present difficult material on how the angry brain functions to readers who might only have a sixth grade reading level.
I've facilitated hundreds of professional training seminars all over this country (and others) over the last twenty years, mostly in the area of anger management. These normally last 6-12 hours. Participants usually remark that I'm exceptionally well organized, that I blend theory with practicality, and that I have a good sense of humor. If you would be interested in my facilitating a professional seminar please contact me through this website.
One last thing. I've had the privilege of facilitating workshops for members of the hemophilia community (through an organization named Inalex) for almost a decade. This experience has helped me understand the courage and strength of character it takes to deal with a serious physical/genetic disability.
Please visit First Things First Counseling.com for more information
I'm Pat Potter-Efron. I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up on the hills of the St. Croix River just across from the town of Hudson. I'm the oldest of two children and both our parents worked in Human Services, one as a social worker and Red Cross Volunteer, and the other as the Director of Minnesota Services for the Blind. I graduated from Stillwater High School, Macalester College, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Mental Health Counseling. I met Ron, my husband, at Macalester, and we've now been married 46 years. I'm a Licensed Independent Social Worker, Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CSAC) in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a Diplomate (correct spelling) of the National Anger Management Association.
I've done many things myself and many with Ron. I headed a Women's Studies Program at a college in Michigan and studied for three years in Literature at Purdue in Indiana. I also have given talks and taught seminars in the US and around the world myself and with Ron. I have training in gestalt therapy, and am not above using creative arts as well as known alternative techniques in my counseling work. And I am a rockhound.
I've enjoyed working and writing with Ron and even co-authoring with him. I also have encouraged others to share what they have learned or discovered with others. Letting Go of Shame, Letting Go of Anger and Healthy Anger have been especially important to me. And I treasure having worked with Ron training others in the field across the years.
I enjoy almost everyone I meet. So those who come to work with me are many ages and very diverse. Learning to care for oneself and to respect both oneself and others are keys to health and success. I love teaching others the "fair fighting rules" we initially devised for our own growing family. And being a mom, and a grandma, I still consistently learn from all three of our children and all four of our grandchildren. I have a sign for my office at work: Center for Humans Being. And my favorite motto, which I first had to apply to myself is Nigerian: "If one is patient enough, even an egg will walk."
I'm Joshua Potter-Efron. I grew up in Michigan and Wisconsin, the youngest of three children. I realized I wanted to help others by the time I reached high school. I earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin -- Eau Claire and then a Master's Degree in Social Work from Smith College. It was there that I developed a life long interest in human diversity that even led me to design a training program for counselors interacting with transgendered individuals. I am a Liscened Certified Social Worker in the state of California.
I live in Los Angeles and am married to Patty Valeriano, whose parents migrated from El Salvadore when she was young. Patty adopted an infant named Tatiany, a child with a hole in her heart who was said to be unadaptable. I'm the proud step-father (Dad) of this active, dancing, beautiful young woman who has survived seven serious operations.
I am a Site Coordinator of Outpatient services at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, where I support and guide therapists in communities with high levels of trauma, violence, and economic stress. I have also provided training to mental health clinics in the Los Angeles area with a diversity curriculum I created for a partnership between a private organization (The Ness Center) and the City of Los Angeles Human relations Commission. I"ve also worked in partnership with Inalex to provide workshops focused on Goal Setting and Vision for the Bleeding Disorders community in Florida, Virginia, and New Jersey.
I was fortunate to be able to attend a year long training program run by Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. This program was entitled "Train the Trainer" and was designed to train one hundred selected individuals as the next generation of leaders. That inspired me to create and present success-oriented workshops engaging people to "be the difference in your own lives and the lives of others." I regularly provide seminars and lectures that empower both parents and children from first grade through high school to engage their own compassion and courage to create a loving home. I also provide individual and family support coaching and therapy.
I am co-author (with Ron Potter-Efron) of a 32 page booklet entitled "Help for the Parents of Angry Children." I am also creator of a collection of Family Support Seminar Packages collectively called Family Support Seminars. These are described in the "Services" section of this web site.