About Dr. Wagner
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As a kid growing up near Cleveland, Ohio I remember being an avid sports fan. Reflecting back, it is clear that my passion for competing in and following sports was my way of coping with the reality of being an anxious kid who struggled in school. One of the few classes that I managed to do well in was Language Arts, where I discovered at a relatively early age that I had an interest and natural "flair" for creative writing.
Because of my history of academic struggles, I believe many people were surprised, confused, and even somewhat skeptical, when I announced my intentions of going to college. However, I believe it made a bit more sense when I shared my vision of going to Kent State University and majoring in journalism with the goal of one day becoming a sportswriter. Still, though, the unspoken question lingered: how could an unmotivated kid who struggled just to survive high school manage to succeed in college? I must admit that, at that time, even I was curious about how this script would unfold.
In August of 1985, feeling anxious and unprepared, I journeyed south to attend Kent State University. Despite my continued lack of motivation and focus, I managed to complete my freshman year. During my sophmore year, I contacted The Daily Kent Stater, the university newspaper, and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to be the "beat writer" for the Kent State ice hockey team. In 1987, I was with the hockey team returning from a game in Dearborn, Michigan when our bus crashed near the border of Toledo. I had absolutely no idea at the time how this bus wreck would, ultimately, change the trajectory of my entire life.
Beginning almost immediately after the bus wreck, the frequency and intensity of my anxiety and academic struggles continued to escalate. I spent the next several weeks trying to navigate the challenges of being able to concentrate in class, complete assignments, and study for exams, all the while convincing myself that "I'm fine...I just need to get over this" and "It's not that big of a deal...everyone goes through this". Despite my greatest effort to avoid and deny the magnitude of the situation, I remember the day I stumbled upon my proverbial "fork in the road". I was sitting across from my older sister at a coffee shop on Route 43 near Kent State University and, after long periods of awkward silence, the words unexpectedly slipped out of my mouth: "I've decided to drop out of school...I just can't do it". My sister listened and offered support as I described in detail my battles with anxiety, procrastination, focus, and motivation. After what felt like hours, the emotional catharsis subsided, and I made a commitment to my sister that I would stay in school and pursue professional help.
Several days later I was sitting in a psychologist's office on South Water Street, purging the details of my chronic anxiety and academic / social struggles to a man whom I had never met before, but whom I felt like I had known for years. After several sessions of discussing, detailing, and dissecting various elements of my "life script", I found myself being surprisingly captivated by my experience of the therapy sessions and, more specifically, the numerous layers involved in the process of change.
Dr. John Wagner
- Bachelor of Arts – Psychology / Speech Communication (Kent State University, 1990)
- Master of Arts – Marriage and Family Therapy (The University of Akron, 1994)
- Doctorate Degree – Counselor Education / Psychology (The Ohio State University, 1998)
- JST Coaching and Training - Graduate - April 2018
Licensed Psychologist (State of Ohio – 2000)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (State of Ohio – 1997)
International Coach Federation (Certified Life / ADHD Coach - in process)
Covenant Psychological and Consulting Services, Inc. (Owner / Psychologist; 1997 – present)
The University of Dayton (Adjunct Faculty – Graduate School Counselor Education; 1997 – present)