Joel F. Wade, Ph.D.

I first started working with clients in 1980. For many years I have worked primarily as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Los Gatos, California, and as a teacher of graduate students and therapists over the years. As a Life Coach, I am finding that I can bring all of the best of what I have learned to my clients, without some of the drawbacks that the framework of psychotherapy can bring.

Looking back it is easy for me to see that my life’s work has been finding what it means to live well, to really and truly live well. Not according to somebody else’s ideals, not in the manner of a cookie cutter of superficial advice, but what it means for a given person to make the most of his or her gifts and limitations, and to create and embody a truly wonderful life. My work today as a Life Coach is to help my clients to reach for their goals in the service of creating a truly wonderful life, given the realities of their life as it is.

I spend a great deal of my time with my family. Being a Father and a husband is the most gratifying and challenging part of my life. I am particularly interested in helping parents find ways of improving their quality of life, so that they can be more effective and involved parents, and enjoy the most precious chapters of their life with their children.

I have done a great deal of traveling with my family, and have personally traveled to over 60 countries covering six continents. From these travels, I have seen and experienced just how many ways there are of living well, but also the great common ground of human existence. The specifics are as varied as the lifestyles of those people who have evolved around the barrenness of the Kalahari Desert to the richness of the Amazon jungle; but a good life centers on common themes that are intrinsic to human nature.

I played competitive water polo for many years, playing at UC Santa Barbara on their 1979 NCAA championship team, captaining their league champion team of 1981, and as a member of the US National team.

From these experiences, and through my work over the years, I know what it means to be passionate and devoted to a course of action, what it takes to see it through to success, and what resilience and gratification – and great fun – can be borne of such dedication.

I see happiness – true happiness and well being, not simply the happiness of feeling good in a lucky moment of pleasure – as a set of skills, a practice and an attitude toward life that can be learned and applied within whatever circumstances you are in.

Through my work as a Life Coach and writer, I get to study and investigate the research and ideas that are fleshing out what really makes a difference in human life, what brings well being, what grows happiness, and what contributes to a more benevolent and honorable world. The great joy of my working life is in helping others to master the skills of happiness so that they can find and pursue what is rewarding for them.

Contact Dr. Joel Wade