Getting To Know You

A Personal Website

About David M. Pittle

Growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, a major port city and Navy town on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, I was one of a small Jewish community of about one thousand families.

I was baptized while serving in the U.S.Air Force while studying and teaching electronics at Scott AFB in Illinois. This led to a complete separation from my family. (But go here for the joyful side.) After requesting to be stationed in Europe, the Air Force in its wisdom, sent me to Japan for three years. This is where I fell in love with the Japanese culture.

During my last year of service, I applied to a Japanese university and was accepted. Kokusai Kirisutokyo Daigaku in the town of Mitaka, not far outside Tokyo, saw fit, eventually, to grant me a bachelor's degree with a double major, humanities and political science, and a minor in Japanese Art and Archeology.

Graduating in 1964, I entered San Francisco Theological Seminary with a focus on counseling and psychotherapy. Most of the courses were fairly traditional psychodynamic material, but my mentor was a member of Eric Berne's San Francisco Seminar and introduced me to Transactional Analysis. A year of internship at San Quentin Prison, taught me the value of going beyond Freudian or Jungian ideas.

After graduation in 1967, I accepted a position with the United Presbyterian Church USA in Brasilia, Brazil. The denomination sent me there to both teach and do counseling at the University of Brasilia and to work with the administrators of the new capital city to "humanize" the city which was not designed for human habitation.

However, after only a few months, the military dictatorship cracked down and the work became impossible. We moved to São Paulo to help in a literacy program, finally being forced to leave Brazil in early 1970.

Accepting a short term contract to do counseling and community organization at the Harvard based Cambridge Ministries in Higher Education, I continued looking for my next position, accepting a two-year pastorate of a deteriorating church in Akron, Ohio.

While there, I began teaching at the University, studying for my doctorate, obtaining clinical membership in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the newly formed American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and the International Transactional Analysis Association.

I also studied Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy with Albert Ellis, and became credentialed in this model of counseling/psychotherapy.

When my wife was offered a position as a computer programmer in Marin County, we decamped to return to the San Francisco area.

This began a long period where, cognizant of the lack of mental and emotional health resources available to many low-income people, I opened my part-time low-cost counseling practice, but paid the mortgage in other employment; first in organization development, teaching at the University of San Francisco, and College of Marin, but eventually, more lucratively, in computer networking.

During the past 30 years, I seem to have been unable to stop collecting "wall-paper", i.e., clinical memberships in the National Association of Cognitive Behavior Therapists, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, National Board of Hypnotherapy and others. (In truth, all those certificates never see the wall. They all reside on a shelf, piled one on top of another and only brought out to answer some question of a colleague or client.

After "retiring" I spent many months in a language school in Mexico learning Spanish and discovering the history and culture of our neighboring nation.

As much as I enjoy pastoral counseling or "spiritually-integrated psychotherapy", I also enjoy my volunteer work at the Kaiser hospital as a chaplain, providing emotional and spiritual support to people in extremely difficult circumstances.

As I have been enlisted in various positions in AAPC, my life has become ever more caught up in supporting the work of this organization.

It is my joy to watch my clients blossom, overcome their limitations and learn to accomplish great things with their lives.

I do plan to fill in parts of my story in sub-narrative links eventually. That way, anyone interested in more depth can choose to read, but others need not bother.