Counseling for the residents of St. George, UT

Meet Dr. David H. Coombs

Hello! Thank you for visiting my web page. Let me tell you a little about myself. I was raised in a family of ten children in Salt Lake City, Utah. In my youth, I struggled with low self-esteem and found out later that most people do. I found school difficult. I barely qualified to enter the University of Utah and barely qualified to graduate with a BS degree in Sociology. The best thing about the U. of U. was meeting the girl of my dreams, Marva Johnson. We fell in love, married, had eight wonderful children, each one bringing joy into our lives. We have had more than fifty years of a great marriage; but it was not without its challenges and some bumps along the way.

Upon graduation from the U. of U. I was hired into the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach religion courses to high school and college students. Marva attended my first faculty meeting where, among other things, our benefits were explained to us. All faculty members were encouraged to seek advanced degrees in any field of our choosing, and our employer would pay for our tuition. Marva jumped at that and became excited about my getting an advanced degree. I put up a wall and said no way. I did not see myself qualifying for any graduate work. My defense was I was not a good student. She was insistent that I at least apply. I gave in and said I would apply, but when I got my rejection letter then there would be no more talk about something I thought was impossible.

My rejection letter came, and I thought that would be the end of that. But Marva asked if she could read the letter. She rejoiced when she read the last paragraph which stated that if I completed twelve units of graduate courses with a grade of B or better, I could resubmit my application. I responded with what I thought was my last defense: It would take me ten years to complete all the requirements for a doctorate degree. By that time I would be 35 years old. I would be practically middle aged. With determination in her voice, she said, “How old will you be ten years from now if you don’t get that degree?” How could I continue to argue with with a wonderful wife who had confidence in me and felt I could do it.

I chose four graduate classes in the field of psychology that did interest me and, surprise, I got twelve units of A. With a little more confidence, I applied again for the graduate program at Brigham Young University and was accepted. Ten years later, I had a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology (EdD) with an emphasis in Counseling.

Because I suffered from low self-esteem, I chose to research esteem for my dissertation. I wanted to know how esteem is created; if it can be changed; and if so, how people can change it. I was highly interested in what I learned; not surprisingly, like me, most people who go into psychology want to learn more about themselves. So what did I learn? Lots! I am anxious to share what I learned with you as we work together.

I am grateful that maintaining a counseling license requires continual study that keeps me informed and up to date. I have come to love learning.