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Marv Thomas, MSW

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marv photo Marv Thomas's roots run deep in the strong farm family values of hard work and mutual support that were the backbone of his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. As a teenager he was taken under the tutelage of a retired army general who gave Thomas a world view which was rare for people three times his age. In college, he was a student of psychology, philosophy, history, and engineering. Before entering social work as a profession, Thomas applied his graduate studies in engineering and mathematics to the aircraft and space industry, where he worked as part of the team that sent the first men to the moon.

Since 1966, Thomas has been working as a psychotherapist, group trainer and facilitator, consultant and educator. He trained directly under such notable figures in the mental health profession as Fritz Perls, Leon Fine and Virginia Satir--pioneers in the field of group process, depth psychotherapy, and family therapy.

By 1970, Thomas had become aware of the vast importance of community in the lives of his clients and students. With almost everyone he worked, Thomas recognized a deep longing to know how to care for the net of relationships that would make their lives work more effectively. Because very few resources were available, he began developing a practical working model of community from which he created the Personal Village concepts and material. He also co-founded and served as director of the Group Process Institute, an organization which trained professionals in group dynamics and provided group centered personal growth experiences for the general public.

Thomas' broad and diverse experience and training allow him to speak not only with the authority of someone who has "been there," but as a professional counselor who for forty years has observed the damage that isolation imposes on our population. For many years, he has been working to help people build and strengthen communities by lecturing and conducting workshops on group process and community theory.

Thomas is the author of two ground breaking books on the importance of community: Personal Village: How to Have People in Your Life by Choice, Not Chance (Hara Publishers), and The Personal Village Workbook (Lakeridge Press). He has been featured on radio and television and in numerous publications, and is currently teaching both classroom and online courses in support of his conviction that healthy relationships are the foundation for a happy, productive life.

Marv Thomas is also founder and director of The Lakeridge Institute and Lakeridge Press, and has a thriving psychotherapy practice. He resides in the Seattle area with his wife of 46 years. They have two grown sons.

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