Professionally, I’ve been doing a mix of psychotherapy, supervision, life coaching, teaching and T’ai Chi since 1988. I also teach Life Coaching and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).
Over the course of my career, I‘ve had a private practice in Talent and Ashland (in Southern Oregon), taught various classes on personal development privately, at RCC and through Southern Oregon University’s continuing education program, and taught T’ai Chi privately and through SOU, Rogue Community College, and others. I also helped to organize and lead the Rogue Valley Men’s Conferences, taught massage at the Ashland Massage Institute, and have done counseling at the Talent Middle School and at Southern Oregon University. I served as the Clinical Director of the Community Counseling Center of Ashland at 600 Siskiyou Boulevard through June of 2017. I’ve also organized several challenge course based team building events for local businesses and groups. Through our business, IPL, Maria Connolly and I co-taught NLP and Life Coaching for many years.
I’ve self published three T’ai Chi and Qigong videos/ DVDs, had several articles published in “T’ai Chi” and “Qi” magazines, collaborated on The Everything Book on T’ai Chi and Qigong and self-published The Push Hands Workbook. My most recent book, Transforming Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach, was published in 2017.
I was born in El Salvador in 1960 and grew up overseas and in Washington DC while my father was working in the diplomatic service. Since my middle name is Fernando, I’ve always been called Nando. My first year of college, 1979, I began my study of T’ai Chi and of psychotherapy. I got my BA in psychology from New College of San Francisco in 1982. In 1981 I met Sharon Bolles and seven years later we married. After a year I spent throwing pottery professionally, we went to graduate school at JFKU in Orinda, CA and I got my MA in Transpersonal Psychology while Sharon got hers in Clinical Psychology. After we got married we settled in Talent, Oregon in 1989.
My post-graduate psychotherapy study has included Hakomi, NLP, Voice Dialogue, NVC (non-violent communication), and Energy Psychology.
Since 1988, we’ve been living the good life on our five rural acres. We’ve fixed up our 100+ year old farmhouse, raised sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and more zucchini than you can imagine! We are empty nesters as our two kids are adults.
I am an avid outdoors person and delight in being on rivers, hiking, biking and skiing. I continue to throw pottery, showing and selling it once a year in the November Clayfolk show. I also have my fifth degree black belt in Karate and Kenpo and study Escrima. Dancing is also a delight for me and I practice and teach Contact Improvisation.
It is also essential to me to walk my talk ethically. This has included being arrested for civil disobedience outside Los Alamos nuclear weapons labs in my 20s, regularly phoning my elected officials, learning to be an even more effective ally to others, making sure that my investments are socially responsible, and making informed choices about my lifestyle.