Bill O’Herron is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (License #006370) who has been studying, teaching, and counseling relationships for the last 16 years. His work is focused squarely on couples counseling, trying to help others better understand the challenges and work involved with being in a mature relationship.
Bill has been married to his exceedingly patient wife Linda for 21 years. They have 3 teenage daughters and 2 male dogs. After living in Wilton, CT for 15 years, Bill and his family moved to Austin, TX in 2013 where he now lives
He graduated from Middlebury College, VT in ’86 with a BA in English, and earned a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Social Work, NY in 2003.
- Bill believes that working on yourself, which will automatically improve the dynamics of your relationship, is the most important thing in life. He writes, "What we do right now in our relationship echoes down through posterity, changes who our grandchildren's children become".
- Bill’s career spans 30+ years in the financial field as a research sales and capital markets executive, having worked in New York, London, Stamford, CT and now Austin, TX.
- Back in 1997 while living in London, England, after having spent 11 years in the financial field, Bill took a work hiatus and enrolled in a language immersion program in Merida, Venezuela. His goal was to learn Spanish, and to continue studying and researching the customs, ethnology, and psychology of local communities.
- Using this experience of living and working with locals, Bill began developing a basic model for applying universal and holistic approaches to human development and self-awareness. It was simple; slow down and relax the rational, left part of the brain to gain access to the emotional, right side of the brain. The right, feeling-based limbic side of the body and mind hold all the answers to why we feel and behave the way we do.
- In 2002, as part of his Social Work curriculum, Bill became a member of the social services staff at North Haven, CT’s Veterans Hospital where he worked with WW2, Korean, and Vietnam War veterans and their families. This experience catalyzed his desire to further research the science and physiology behind more all-inclusive interventions that address and reduce the deleterious effects of PTSD and stress–related symptoms surrounding trauma. Most of the conventional interventions he witnessed were not positively improving our veteran’s lives.
- After earning his MSW in ’03 he became a director at Domus, one of Connecticut’s most progressive youth focused, human services non-profits. He led their juvenile justice program called Avenues. With the help of his colleagues, he introduced practices and curriculum that incorporated a more integrated approach to educating and supporting students, families, and program staff.
- This program earned the State of Connecticut’s highest marks in youth retention and development. With this practical and clinical experience, Bill then launched an evenings and weekend counseling practice, working with youth, adults and couples.
- The basic principle underlying his work is compassionately direct: create an environment for clients to go much deeper into their feelings so that they can fully understand what these emotions are trying to teach them. The wisdom and guidance we all seek is stored within our feelings. ”Emotion is the key to and the driving force underlying every thought and action in human existence” (Robert Monroe, Far Journeys).
Major Theme of Bill’s Approach to Counseling
Bill is currently working on a book about relationships, more specifically on how to better understand the unconscious patterns of behavior that we all bring to our relationships. It is called The Space in Between: Why Great Marriages Thrive, Others Fail.
One of the major themes is teaching each partner how to embrace the friction of marriage, and all the emotional challenges naturally generated in a partnership. Every relationship involves a lot of latent and often an intense amount of friction created by spending time with another individual. The key to a relationship is turning towards this friction, for each partner to use this discomfort as a catalyst to allow one’s own old feelings and memories to surface.
It extremely difficult when we are confronted with our own anger and sadness, or whatever is stored inside. We want to blame the other for ‘causing’ it, but our partner is simply waking it up in us.
Our logically focused, adult minds need to learn the language of our feelings. The challenge is that the framework and foundation of our feelings were created when we were young. Our adult mind is not familiar with these deep-seated feelings.
In short, there is an essential, naturally occurring battle between our left and right brain, between our adult mind and emotional heart-limbic selves. We just have to bring the two sides together. Bill calls it standing in the fire of your relationship. It is learning how to stand in the fire of your feelings.
By turning inward and spending more time understanding why you react to your partner the way you do, and not focusing on your partner’s behavior, you will realize that the challenges you are facing in your marriage are about you, and not your partner.