Greetings! I’m Dr. John Rettger, the new clinical psychologist working with Dr. Singley at The Center for Men’s Excellence. I specialize in working with individuals, couples, families, children (8 years and up), and adolescents. My approach to practicing therapy draws on data and research-based treatment methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combined with well-researched modern holistic modalities such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga-based wellness practices. My treatment perspective is inclusive of and sensitive to the multi-faceted nature of the being human that includes cognition, emotion, physical embodiment, and spiritual or religious experiences.
I earned my doctorate in Northern California and began my career at Stanford University’s Early Life Stress & Resilience Program (ELSRP). At the ELSRP, I focused on research and community-based initiatives supporting children and professionals who have been impacted by trauma. I became an expert at working with children in psychotherapy and yoga-based wellness programs. This work was featured on a PBS Newshour story, “Teaching students how to combat traumas of poverty on the yoga mat.” More recently, I co-edited an academic book entitled “Applied Mindfulness: Approaches in Mental Health for Children and Adolescents.” I am continuing this work through an online collaboration with the ELSRP and Pure Edge, Inc. to live stream meditations for health professionals during the COVID-19 crisis.
My primary goal with my psychotherapy patients is to create a therapeutic atmosphere of warmth and compassion while working in a direct and focused way to achieve their most important goals. This aspiration comes to life in therapy through gentle encouragement and preparation for clients to approach their most significant challenges from a place of self-kindness and self-compassion. My model of psychotherapy involves skill building, cognitive and emotional processing, and learning how to transfer the skills acquired in therapy to everyday life to build sustainable change.
With respect to skill building, I place emphasis on developing and enhancing coping methods through training in relaxation methods such as breath work, guided imagery, and meditation strategies. These skills are reinforced through home practice assignments and brainstorming sessions on how to integrate these skills into one’s daily routine. My clients learn new approaches to cognitive and emotional processing so they can more carefully examine their thinking styles and work to develop new patterns of thinking and behavior that are more growth-oriented. In many cases, clients discover new ways of interpreting life events that create more emotional freedom. By freeing up psychological energy from negative thinking, a new perspective emerges where clients may feel more empowered, energized, and able to embrace whatever life brings their way.
In my personal life, I enjoy spending time in nature and on the beach with my wife, Kristina, and my dog, Conchita. I also love practicing yoga, meditation, listening to music, and reading and writing poetry.
I look forward to seeing you at The Center for Men’s Excellence!