Dr. Tom joined Humanex Academy in 2012. He holds a B.S. in Psychology, a Master’s in Psychology, and a Psy.D. His hobbies include skiing, hiking, camping, sailing, and long distance running.
I love working at Humanex because my passion for Humanex Academy is based in our philosophy of recognizing the importance of the individual, and thus, the “Human EXperience” in our approach to students. This enables us to celebrate their strengths and uniqueness, while stepping away, from an approach entirely focused on deficit remediation. Something that is critical for sustained growth and development.
Each of our students have their own specific set of goals and stumbling blocks – a stubborn individuality that resists a One-Size-Fits-All solution. The Humanex approach is about recognizing and appreciating those differences. We challenge them to look beyond their clinical diagnosis to the bigger picture of who they are and who they can be; to take pride in their personal identity and avoid the trap of comparing their progress with others.
We encourage boldness and optimism. After all, one cannot discover one’s potential if everything is approached from a defensive position. Simple deficit remediation, or focusing on “not doing things wrong,” is unhelpful for the neurodiverse student. It may feel better to avoid any chance of rejection or failure, but it leads only to self-fulfilling disappointment and diminishing returns.
Success both during and after school requires the development of initiative, motivation, determination, and resilience. The formation of these skills will not develop within a vacuum. Instead, they must be taught to experiment, make mistakes, experience disappointment, AND to rebound within the supportive environment that Humanex Academy provides. This is the first step in being able to do this in the world, and on their own. It all begins as we work with our students to facilitate the development of the key foundational skills they will need to tap into their true potential.
Our ultimate goal for each student is for them to form a more mature and optimistic sense of self that is distinct from others. One that includes an honest understanding for both strengths and weaknesses, and strategies for working with both. This we know is critical for their successful push toward finding their place in the world, and to boldly strive for the greater independence they desire.
This approach, and the growth and development I see each year in our students, is what inspires and motivates everything I do at Humanex Academy.
Professionally, I am trained as a child and family clinical psychologist. I specialize in work with neurodiverse young people and their families, specifically those on the autism spectrum, and those identified as Twice Exceptional (2e). My primary work with this population occurs at Humanex Academy. Additionally, I am a field instructor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, and psychologist in private practice.