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The Come Alive Collaborative Founder

David R. Stefan, Ph.D.

lgbt therapy in Cincinnati OH
lgbt therapy in Cincinnati OH
lgbt therapy in Cincinnati OH

Hello, my name is Dave.  After more than a decade as a therapist, career coach, and college instructor, I formed a production company and set out on an extended global expedition; working and living in 20 states and 12 countries on six continents, I fulfilled a vocation exploration project called 

“12 Months to Live”.


Guided by the quote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is men and women who have come alive,“ I brainstormed what makes me come alive. 


I drafted a life list framed by the question, “What would I do if I had 12 months to live?” and then mapped out a series of adventures. Each month for a year, I experimented with a new career or personal passion: I worked with the United Nations World Food Program in Nepal, walked alone into the Cascade Wilderness for a three day/three night solo fast vision quest, and shot an adventure film while trekking up Everest.

After completing my circumnavigation of the globe, I rediscovered my calling as an educator and therapist.

Now, I’ve launched a new adventure – helping others dream up, design and complete their own Come Alive Projects.

While on my '12 Months to Live' journey around the world, I filmed my travels and conversations with characters that crossed my path, including a laughter yoga leader, a 90-year old Kmart cashier, and a girl who couldn't laugh.


I then produced a documentary and a podcast called Dr. Dave and the Girl Who Couldn't Laugh to share the lessons I learned in pursuit of my come alive project.   


At the Come Alive Counseling and Coaching Collaborative, we provide counseling, coaching and a series of resources to help you discover and follow whatever life is calling you to do.



My Approach to the Counseling, Coaching and Change Process

As someone who has faced significant personal and professional challenges and come out on the other side with a much richer and more grounded sense of who I am and my place in the world, I can understand the range of emotions you might be experiencing.

Throughout my life, I have worked hard at my own mental and emotional well-being. Along with therapy, I have explored and applied practices that have helped me change my irrational beliefs, manage my emotions, and find greater fulfillment in relationships. You can learn more about my journey and background through my "12 Months to Live" and "Gratitude Project" podcast series. 

My approach to working with others is informed by what has helped me personally but also rests on four pillars of education, experience, science-backed research, and proven therapeutic techniques. 

Education: I have completed a master's degree in counseling, a master's in theology, and a Ph.D. in counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ohio as well as an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. 


Experience: I have worked in the fields of education, career development, coaching and counseling for more than twenty-five years. But, perhaps, more importantly, I have tested what I have learned by applying research to my own life and the emotional and relational difficulties I have encountered. 

Science-backed Research: I rely on research and what evidence-based studies show us about how people grow. One area of specialty for me is positive psychology, which is defined as the scientific study of how people flourish, or simply put, the science of happiness.

Proven Therapeutic Techniques: There are several approaches to counseling that I have integrated into my practice as a therapist, but a few primary schools of thought include cognitive-behavioral therapy, client-centered therapy, positive psychology, narrative therapy, and solution-focused therapy.  

My specialties include: managing anxiety and depression; improving and deepening relationships; establishing well-being and happiness practices; clarifying career, calling and purpose in life; exploring issues that are unique to men: navigating spiritual journey challenges and questions; and finding peace with sexual issues, LGBTQ+ concerns and coming out. 

Based on my educational background, training, and personal experiences, I work hard to create an environment that offers compassionate understanding, challenging encouragement, and research-based solutions.

My Approach

Let's work together to...

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