Dr. Doug Wheeler has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and is currently the Director of Mental Health at a non-profit organization serving men experiencing homelessness. Born in Chicago and raised in Kentucky, he grew up in a small-town setting with his parents and older brother. Doug left home after high school but returned after six months, having slipped into a season of darkness and despair. After a radical spiritual experience, he embraced Jesus with the guidance of his newly converted mother. His new-found faith was vibrant and alive but over time he became increasingly conflicted with the exclusivity and intolerance of Christianity.
After forty years of devotion, Doug entered a season of personal and religious deconstruction. He confronted his own belief in a perpetuated God who freely loved and cared for some people while rejecting others and observed through his counseling work and experiences in the world that there was no special intervention, protection or rescue from the pains of life. This was never more clear than on the day after Christmas in 2016 when Doug’s older brother took his own life. His parents having passed years before, Doug became the only living member of his family. Only a year later, he lost a close friend to lung cancer. Suffering so much grief in such a short period caused Doug to dismantle his belief systems and, in his words, "Take everything down to the studs."
Navigating his second half of life without the same fears, Doug is recovering parts of himself diminished by systems of judgement and self-denial. He no longer subscribes to an exclusive religion or worldview built on divisiveness or discrimination, instead practicing a spirituality that is rooted in a generous "Presence" moving all things toward love and integration. He is presently working on his first book Reimagining Jonah, a poetic exegesis of the Biblical story explored through modern understandings of self and culture, as well as his podcast series From the Belly as a companion project to the book and creative outlet for his exuberant interpersonal style. Doug lives on the Eastside of Seattle with his deeply talented wife of 31 years and they watch with excitement as their two adult sons engage in the arts and make their own way in the world.
For content inquiries or general engagement and conversation, please send Doug a message below.
He will respond to each Person with intention and enthusiasm.
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