JERRY D. CLARK, MA LPC
Success Coach, Counselor, Author and Speaker
During my personal counseling, I began hearing God call me back to college to become a counselor. It was not an audible voice but a compassionate tug. I was concerned about being successful. I kept hearing God’s whisper,
“Take care of my people and
I will take care of you.”
I was witnessing first-hand the effectiveness of counseling for individuals and families and desperately wanted to be involved.
Growing up in West Texas was exciting. Cactus, mesquite trees and caliche roads were the scenery of the day. This doesn’t sound too exciting or picturesque, but when you don’t have anything to compare it to, it can be good enough. Traveling to the Rockies as a kid was over the top for me.
We were a very modest family of Mom, Dad, three boys and three girls. It was 1946 when I made my debut as the 5th child. Mom and dad lacked education but stressed it very strongly for us. I graduated Central High School in 1964 and entered San Angelo Junior College the following year. I did not know what ‘Scholastic Probation’ supposed until I found out what ‘Scholastic Suspension’ meant. This gave me the chance to join the Marines. So, in 1966, along with three of my friends, I left for San Diego, California.
I worked hard as a Marine Recruit and upon graduation from boot camp, I was awarded a set of ‘Dress Blues’ as ‘Platoon Honor Man.’ It also included a promotion and a trip to the Orient. I found myself as a Rifleman in Vietnam in early August of 1966. I returned home in late September of 1967 with no visible wounds of war. I got out of the Marines in 1968 and was married in 1969. My two sons were born within three years, and I was a very proud dad but highly uneducated in that role.
I graduated in 1971 from Angelo State University. I was hired by General Telephone company as a project manager and ended this career thirty years later as an Engineering and Construction manager. General Telephone Company changed names to GTE and then became Verizon.
As I said earlier, I did not know how to be a dad nor a husband but gave it my best. Needless to say, I was ill equipped to do either one effectively. After 13 years, our marriage failed. I did not recognize my contribution to the demise of the marriage until my second marriage began to take on the characteristics of the first. I attempted counseling but it was not for me, and it didn’t work.
My second adventure in counseling was a very different experience. I was more focused in what I had to lose. It is a different experience to look for growth and a new approach to life that yields peace and calmness. It is fascinating to explore what I did not know about being myself. What a different journey to look at my actions and be able to accept them and even to laugh at myself.
It was during my career with Verizon that family problems brought me back into counseling and it was during that time I felt God pulling me into a new career. It would take an intensive effort to transition into this new career, but I felt it was worth it. This was a life changing experience. I learned so much about myself and others. The emotional education was the biggest experience for me. I learned there are more emotions than happy and mad. Okay, so I was emotionally constipated, what can I say?
As I returned to college, I was working fulltime. It took a tremendous commitment to balance work, school, family, and personal life. I graduated with a degree and a wonderful education in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1996 from The University of Houston Clear Lake. I began working evenings and nights as well as on Saturdays. These hours worked for me and worked well for clients because not many therapists offered these hours. I was also working as an Intern at Devereux Hospital where I met many psychiatrists and therapist who were great resources for referrals during my early years.
I retired from Verizon in 1999 and have since experienced a wonderful career in counseling. I have been a lifetime Christian and have been a member of Bay Harbour UMC for the past 29 years.
I have had an extraordinarily successful practice since 1996 and I love working with people, especially people who desire to have something much better than what they have been experiencing. Spending time talking to families, individuals, teenagers, or children has brought to the forefront that I repeat the same counsel over and over so many times. I want to share the possibilities with more people, so you too have the opportunity to grow and be successful in your relationships.
My current plans include living the next twenty years leaning forward, making a difference in my own life and any others I can positively touch. I refuse to sit back and allow life to happen but to stay heavily involved with making a positive difference to myself and any others who will accept the challenge to look at their blind spots.