Catholic psychotherapist Roy Petitfils is headed to Alaska in January for a week of public presentations to parents, teens and young adults. His upcoming talks reflect insights from his counseling practice. His focus is namely on helping adults understand, reach and influence teens, and helping teens to understand themselves.
The lifelong native of Louisiana is married with two sons. He practices psychotherapy in Louisiana and has studied ministry and spirituality at the graduate level at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
His background includes 11 in Catholic schools working as a teacher, campus minister, administrator and school counselor. Since 2009 his counseling has focused almost exclusively on adolescents and families.
“I believe that many of the ills in our world today are caused by a lack of sight,” Petitfils explained in a letter to the Anchorage Archdiocese. “Not physical sight, but a much deeper spiritual seeing. I believe people act out, hurt themselves and others because they are not seeing themselves, others and God as they really are.”
Petitfils said his work as a psychotherapist gives him first hand experience about challenges facing modern teens and families.
“They often let me see beyond their masks to know them on a deep level,” he noted. “When I present to teens and adults, I bring this unique, ‘in the trenches’ perspective. I offer adults tools, strategies, encouragement and skills to understand, reach and influence the teens in their lives. I offer teens validation, insight, self-understanding while challenging them to grow.”
Petitfils’ upcoming talks in Alaska are listed below. They are free and open to the public.
Topic: Healthy tensions and finding balance
Jan. 14, 1-2:30 p.m. (for young adults)
Location: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (2901 E. Huffman Rd., Anchorage)
Topic: Family Communication
Jan. 15, 4-5 p.m. (for parents and teens)
5-6 p.m. (dinner)
Location: Our Lady of the Angels (225 S. Spruce St., Kenai)
Contact: Deacon Kevin Woodvine (email@example.com or 283-4555)
Topic: Suicide and Depression
Jan. 16, 7-8:30 p.m. (communitywide adult evening)
Location: Sacred Heart Church (1201 E. Bogard Rd., Wasilla)
Topic: Adolescent Culture (How do you talk to teens?)
Jan. 18, 6:30-8 p.m. (communitywide adult evening)
Location: Lunney Center at Our Lady of Guadalupe (3900 Wisconsin St., Anchorage)