Get to know Mark
Mark Olkowski was born and raised just outside the Bay Area in Northern California. Before moving to Texas, he spent seven years living in San Diego. He earned his Bachelors in Psychology at San Diego State University and subsequently, gained his Masters in Marital and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary. Apparently, something was missing out there (surely, not the good weather), and he relocated to the Dallas area and is here to stay.
His passion for the helping profession was in the making long before he went to school for counseling. Growing up in a family of six with extended family close by, Mark did not lack for a variety of relationship “highs” and “lows.” Marital discord, secrecy, divorce, emotional abuse, prolonged anger, childhood trauma—many of these challenging aspects of relationships were found throughout his family ties. And yet, his deepest focus remained on the “good” that can be found in relationships like love, friendship, intimacy, passion, safety, and acceptance; these sorts of personal and interpersonal connections that, when experienced, add hope, security, and vibrancy to life.
Mark wholeheartedly believes that authenticity and vulnerability are vital to building connections, and he is open with his greatest affections and his deepest struggles. In fact, he believes that it is often when we are knee-deep in the struggle that we grow the most, however painful. He has questioned his worth, struggled with shame, felt empty and meaningless, and battled anger and depression. But, in the process, he has found hope, compassion, forgiveness, contentment, and peace. Most importantly, he has come to understand one of his most deeply held beliefs, that all people are inherently lovable and of immense worth.
When it comes to getting to know him, Mark is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. Give him a quiet place to read or a loud get-together, and he’ll be just fine either way. He thoroughly enjoys laughter and lightheartedness, but won’t miss a chance to get “deep” when the occasion calls for it. More than almost anything, he loves family (but just know that pizza and coffee are high up on his list, and God is at the top), and he would happily spend his life in the service of others.