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Gregory K. Popcak
Gregory K. Popcak
Dr. Gregory Popcak (POP-chak) is a nationally recognized expert in pastoral counseling, especially in the areas of affective disorders (depression, anxiety) and marriage and family problems. He can trace his decision to pursue a career in counseling back to his happy childhood. He was raised in a solidly Christian home by two parents who loved the Lord and each other very deeply through good times and bad. “My family of origin was very strong and faithful,” Greg remembers. “My house was the place all of my friends wanted to be, and they were often jealous of the closeness I enjoyed with my parents. The struggles they shared with me about their own family relationships saddened me and made me want to find ways to help other families experience the love and closeness I almost took for granted in my home.”
Through his church’s children’s ministry, Greg had a very intense personal encounter with the Lord when he was 8 years old. As a result of that encounter, he has led a spirit-filled life from that time forward. Although he experienced the questions and doubts that are common to a growing and maturing faith, through God’s grace he remained faithful through his adolescence and contemplated entering the ministry. After a brief time in seminary, Greg felt called to serve others through marriage and family work. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the University of Steubenville. He also holds a Master’s of Social Work (Clinical Specialization) from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Human Services (with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling) from Capella University. Additionally, he has received specific training in Functional Family Therapy at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Structural Family Therapy from the Philadelphia Child Guidance Institute.
Greg has conducted an active counseling practice—first face-to-face, and now by telephone—for over 16 years. He is the founder and executive director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, which offers a wide variety of resources and professional services intended to help committed Christians overcome hurdles like marital conflict, childrearing problems, depression, anxiety, stress, and the difficulties associated with major life transitions.
Greg is the author of eight popular books that integrate the Christian faith with counseling psychology and has contributed many chapters to books on such topics as homeschooling, mixed-faith marriages, the priest-abuse scandal, and family therapy. His articles and columns can regularly be found in publications such as Catholic Parent, Family Foundations, Faith and Family, Our Sunday Visitor and others, and he has been interviewed about marriage and family issues in publications as diverse as Columbia, Ladies Home Journal, and The National Enquirer. He has also hosted two television series for EWTN (For Better…FOREVER! and God Help Me!). Together with his wife, Lisa, Greg hosts the daily, nationally-syndicated Catholic radio broadcast Heart, Mind & Strength.
Inspired by the strength and faith of his family of origin, Greg has always been active in family and marriage ministry, continuing to advance the idea that his parents taught him—that faith must be a family affair and that Jesus calls all people, even the littlest ones, to love and serve him with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength. “My motto in adulthood has been to 'Love God. Serve my family. And lead others to do the same.' I have tried to live out that mission in my books, counseling, and radio and television ministries but most importantly in my home, where my most important work is conveying God’s love for my wife as well as confirming my children in His love and helping them discover His purpose and plan for their lives,” Greg reflects.
Greg has been married to Lisa for 16 years. The couple has three children, Jacob, Rachel, and Liliana, who are all homeschooled. Lisa is a teacher, lactation consultant, Family Life Coach, and the coauthor with Greg of the book Parenting with Grace. Greg enjoys public speaking, writing, and, when he gets the chance, acting in community theater. The Popcak family lives in Steubenville, Ohio.