My Nerd Journey

I trace my nerdiness back to 3rd grade, and I in particular blame one Mr. Robert Lawrence Stine, writer of the Goosebumps series of children’s horror literature. From Goosebumps I went to Animorphs, and from there to Redwall, and before I knew it I was reading 1,000 page tomes like Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones and heady science fiction – excuse me, speculative fiction – from the likes of Theodore Sturgeon and the lately departed Harlan Ellison. I never didn’t know that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. I have very specific opinions of the superiority of TOS over TNG.

I was disappointed to find out that this was a costume.

My nerdiness is more than just media consumption, though. I created my first website at the age of 13, which was much more impressive in the late 90s than it is now. As a cherry on the nerdy sundae, it was a Monty Python fan site. It’s still out there somewhere, and I’ll give a special mention to anyone who can email me a link to it. I was president of my school’s Web club, at a school that was nerdy enough to have a web club. I learned Javascript, BASIC, Perl and Flash back when it was owned by Macromedia (that is, back when it was good).

But Whence Came Mental Health?

I decided that I liked computers much more as a hobby than a career. I got my BA in Psychology, my MS in Mental Health Counseling and my PhD in Counseling Psychology. My first job in the field was at the tender age of 20, working in a locked ward at the oldest running mental hospital in the country, McLean Hospital, temporary dwelling of A Beautiful Mind’s John Nash, as well as James Taylor and Sylvia Plath. I’ve worked in group homes, clinics, emergency rooms, Forensic Hospitals (what were formerly called Hospitals for the criminally insane). I know the hospital that Arkham Asylum is based on, but I’ve never worked there.

It’s condos now. Seriously.

About the Website

It wasn’t until lately that I realized that what I do as a therapist and who I am as a nerd came together to form Nerd Mind. Nerds are defined by our mind – our intellect, our personality, our taste – but for many of us, our minds are also causing us problems. There are whole fields of research around mental health issues for certain groups – veterans, people with chronic illnesses, LGBTQ, etc. – but nothing about nerds. I believe that nerds are vulnerable to mental illness, and this website is my attempt to take some of the major findings and tools from the mental health field and package it for nerds.

Full logo

The makeup of this website is high-effort blog posts, high effort referring to the meticulous research and independent data gathering and analysis that will inform each post. Most of the content will have a self-help angle, although I will occasionally dip into harder science (don’t laugh, psychology is a science) or headier philosophy. My goal is to decrease the stigma and mystery around mental illness and mental health, and especially to help nerds like me find a way to deal with people better, live a better life, and feel happier. If you’re into that sort of thing.

I’m also available for consulting projects. Check out my other side projects at my services page.