Hi! I love connecting with people, helping people. I am Dr. Monte Christopher Miller, or Dr. Monte. I have been doing professional counseling for 26 years, 22 years after getting my doctorate degree. I am used to working with people who are going through terrible storms in their lives. Over the years, I have learned a great deal about how to help these people with the depression and anxiety needed to overcome the losses.
WHO IS THIS DR. MONTE GUY?
I wanted one of my blogs to just be more personal, to give you an idea of who I am as a person. It really helps to connect on a personal level with my clients.
Some therapists are taught to be more cold and distant. That’s not me! We are all taught to focus on the client’ life and issues, and not our own issues. I agree with this one for the most part. We do need boundaries and my focus is on you and your problems, not my problems.
However, this blog is for me to focus on me, just for a moment. I need to be genuine and real. Psychotherapy for me is a real relationship, with real genuine compassion and caring for you as a person not just as a client.
Story of My Life (Brief Version)
I was born in Lubbock, Texas, then moved to Dallas (Duncanville) when I was five. Of course, I’m a Cowboys fan through and through. I had a pretty normal healthy childhood, with an older sister and brother. Overall, I had a good healthy lower-middle class upbringing and am very thankful for what I had and for how my parents raised me.
Things changed, however, as my parents divorced when I was 11. My father quickly moved away to Amarillo to be with his new wife, leaving me and my brother without a good male role model.
Sadly, a few years later, my mother had a stroke at the age of 45, when I was only 14. Little did I know I was getting training in dealing with strokes. I would end up treating a lot of these clients throughout my career. It was tough dealing with her increased emotionality and physical limitations, but it helped teach compassion and understanding.
And then, much worse, my dear mother had a second major stroke that took her life when I was only 16. It was a devastating loss for me. We were very close. My dad was gone, brother was off at college, and my best friend had just moved away. Again, God was preparing me for helping those who similar problems.
My older sister and her new husband moved in with me until I finished high school. It was very stressful for us then. Needless to say this was an intense time of depression and grief. However, it was also a great time of growth and faith in God.
I later went on to go to Texas A&M for undergrad (Whoop!) in Psychology. I was probably more interested in doing ministry with Young Life than I was with academics. I also became married to my first wife.
I spent two years going to graduate school at Wheaton College in Chicago. This was a great school that really combined Christianity and psychology very well. I loved it there but it was too darn cold! Had to move back to Texas.
After finishing my masters degree,I worked for a year in Dallas. That is until I was fired from my first counseling job! I was devastated! I was told I didn’t know the basics, and by someone who had never even observed me doing therapy. Fortunately, I was still able to get admitted into a doctorate program at OLLU in San Antonio. I was praised for my therapy work by my supervisors who actually observed me doing therapy.
I finally graduated with my doctorate in clinical psychology after 10 years of living in poverty and struggling. Was working with a big psychology group and forced to start doing nursing homework. Although I did not like it at first I ended up falling in love with it.
I soon went off on my own and have been successfully working in nursing homes for over 20 years now. I love working with people of all ages who have had to endure terrible physical injuries and illnesses. These problems have taken away their normal way of life and the freedom and independence that comes with it. However, I have learned a great deal by their strength.
After 20 years of marriage and much stress I ended up divorcing my first wife. I would love to say a lot more about it but will restrain, as it’s not fair to just hear one side of the story. I have learned even more about relationships and how we can only change other people so much.
Unfortunately I lost my beloved daughter‘s heart in this process. She was 15 years old at the time and we were extremely close, constantly going to the park, the zoo, Six Flags and reading every night. She is 22 now, but never forgave me for divorcing her mother. While I was certainly far from innocent in the problems of the marriage, neither was her mother, and I do not believe the children should ever be pushed to choose sides or be anybody’s marital issues should involve the children.
I did, however, finally find someone who loves me and I am so much happier in that regards. Marriage is still never going to be easy, and we have had some rough spots. However we’ve worked them out and are stronger than ever as time goes on.
Shanna has taught English at the college level, as a masters in speech and language pathology, and in recent years has developed a thriving cake designer business. See her cake business page on this site!
I have a 23 year old step-daughter and 14 year old step son. They took me in and accepted me well, which meant everything to me.
LIFE AS A SHRINK
I started reading books on Christian dating when I was 15 years old. Okay. I know. That’s odd! What 15 year old boy reads books on relationships?? Okay, I also played sports and video games (still do!) I think I just wanted a girlfriend and wanted a good marriage later. I didn’t want to end up being divorced, like my parents. Oh well, that didn’t work. Should have read more on how to pick the right spouse meant for me by God in the first place!
The desire to be a shrink started soon thereafter. I was always a sensitive compassionate kid. But eventually after going through 10 years of college, grad school, and doctorate program, I was proud to be able to graduate with my doctorate A couple of months before I turn 30. I still didn’t really know what area I wanted to specialize in or if I wanted to keep working and outpatient therapy.
The psychology group I was working for to meet my requirements to get licensed push me into doing a rotation in nursing homes. I did not like it at first but then ended up falling in love with it. I went off on my own and have been working at some of the same facilities for over 20 years now.
Unfortunately with changes of health insurance, especially and odd unannounced changed here in San Antonio, I stopped making A decent living and it became hard to manage the administrative side. I joined a big psychology group to let them handle the administrative stuff, though I have continued to work in my same facilities.
I’ve always considered my nursing home work to be a ministry. 95% of the people I work with claim to be Christian. Many are facing death soon. It is imperative that I address their spirituality and where they are going next. This is important because their perspective on God completely shapes their attitude and mental health in the last years of their life.
I try to make it clear that I am a Christian psychologist not a psychologist who happens to be a Christian. A Christian psychologist will proactively use the Bible and my patient’s faith to try to help them cope with their life‘s problems better. There are other secular tools in my toolbox but what better textbook is there on human nature than the Bible, written by the One who made us?
Please see my blog and YouTube video on this topic to learn more.
I was raised as a Christian and always remember believing. First went to a Methodist church, then an Episcopal church. I just generally consider myself to be an Evangelical Bible believing Christian. I believe that Jesus is the only way to God and Heaven.
I was very involved in YoungLife in high school and college. It is a great Christian outreach ministry, primarily for high schoolers, though also for middle school and college students too. After my dad left town and then my mom died, a great leader, Chuck Savale, mentored me and really made a huge difference in my life. He pushed me to study guys like Bonhoeffer, and learn how to evangelize, with love of course. I helped lead our weeky group at our school.
In college I became a YoungLife leader, working with Junior high school students. I also did some work with Campus Crusade for Christ (known as CRU now). Grad school had no real ministry work, just studying how psychology can be filtered distinctly through the lens of the Bible.
Several years after working after my doctorate, I felt the need to give back some more, besides my counseling work. I worked with Oak Hills Church in San Antonio (Max Lucado’s church) and helped run their Men’s ministry for several years. Unfortunately, I stopped that when I divorced. I felt like I was not qualified to lead at that point in my life, sadly. I’m sure I’m not worthy of leading anymore now, but I feel lead by God to do this blog, write books, do Youtube Videos and other social media. Thank goodness, God doesn’t call the Qualified. He qualifies the Called.
As a side hobby, I LOVE studying eschatology-the study of the End Times in the Bible. I believe that Jesus is coming back again soon in a pre-tribulation rapture before a literal Millennial Kingdom, With Jesus ruling on Earth and us ruling with Him.
I also enjoy studying Christian Apologetics – the Study of the evidences for the Christian Faith. I never wanted to believe in anything just because my family, or society, told me to do so. If the evidence pointed to Buddhism or atheism, then that’s what I would believe. I love being nerdy and scientific. Use of logic and evidence is not opposed to the study of God. In fact, it clearly points to God and Jesus.
PERSONAL FUN STUFF
In the evening and weekends, after helping cook, clean and all the stupid grown-up stuff they make you do, I work on blogs and videos. I enjoy writing! I would love to not work as much in counseling and write more.
Okay I admit, I am a gamer. I get online regularly on a Friday night with my old high school/college friend and fly planes/drive cars, shoot guns, and basically save the world on the PC. Gaming is great, but it is the camaraderie and guy bonding that we love. Plus, video games, just like any hobby like hunting or fishing, has to be enjoyed just in limited amounts. Too many men are addicted and it can ruin a marriage if not kept in check.
Reading, watching movies and binge watching shows with my family are also regular events.
My wife’s, Shanna, cake business is very important to me and the family. I often spend my time baking, doing dishes and helping in any way I can for her. It is a tough job to constantly have to taste test, but it’s the kind of sacrifice I am willing to make for my family. 🙂
See My other Counseling Service page to learn more about my view on counseling.