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» Provider Directory » Find a Therapist » Ohio » Cincinnati Therapists » Therapist Profile

Curt Spear, PhD

Biography

In 1990, while moving from Boston to Cincinnati my mother was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within four months.  This loss turned me inside out and got me into therapy for the first time in my life.  I was so inspired and transformed by the experience that I eventually went back to school, received a doctorate, and became a psychologist myself.  As it turned out, the best gift my mother ever gave me was the way in which she passed on for it aligned me with my life's calling.
 
Prior to becoming a psychologist, I was a Dela Air Lines flight attendant for 25 years.  While flying, I earned a Master's Degree and Doctorate and traveled the world on my own. I often tell people that when it comes to my own development, I really started growing up on the road.  My road included bicycling through China (not long after opening up to the West), Hong Kong, The Soviet Union, India, Nepal, Israel, Egypt, South Africa (during Apartheid), Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Europe.  
 
Some of my greatest moments in life happened while on the road.  For example, as a flight attendant I was opened up to international opportunities allowing me to take leaves of absence and throw myself into international programs such as teaching English in a Vietnamese refugee camp in Thailand run under the auspices of The United Nations and Save The Children.  Also, on two different occasions, I escorted six-month-old orphaned infants from Calcutta, India to their adoptive parents in the United States.  As an airline employee, I had the necessary international experience and  could travel to India for free, saving the adoptive parents the difficulty and expense of going themselves.  
 
One of my greatest moments in life was flying over the Statue of Liberty while holding a six-month-old infant in my arms who was landing in the U.S. to brand-new life opportunities.  I also had the great grace of meeting and talking with Mother Teresa in Calcutta not long after she won the Nobel Peace Prize.  You never know what can happen in life unless you put yourself out there!
 
As a Doctoral Student at The Union Institute, a highly innovative and progressive school and program, I was able to to study psychology in amazingly unique ways such as going to Japan and working with relationship and family therapists in Kyoto.  This allowed me hands-on experience in understanding the differences between East-West therapies.  Because most Eastern cultures are based on the cultural value of group-first, mental health is based on how well your are embedded in important groups and therapies are designed to reduce individualism and re-align the client with the group. Too individual can easily be seen as a disorder.  In the West and, of course, the U.S., the exact opposite is true in defining mental health. High degrees of individualism are seen as healthy. 
 
My doctoral dissertation was written on the American cultural values of independence and self-reliance and how these values can become so exaggerated that relationships and well-being can actually suffer.  Our institutions, like managed care, for example, can easily devalue relationship and have you moving on too soon from treatment or break up pre-existing relationships that are highly valued. 
 
I am an avid cyclist and hiker and have lived and worked in Cincinnati for the past 30 years.

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Curt Spear, PhD, Cincinnati

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Cincinnati, OH 45226

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Last Modified: 10/6/2021  


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