David Doerfler. M.Div. brings a unique balance of experience, from extremely intense to everyday circumstances, qualifying him to help individuals and groups of people from all walks of life in their journey of healing and renewal, and their search for justice.
Professionally he brings diverse, extensive experience-- as an ordained Lutheran minister, a former prison guard, college football coach, and creator-developer within the Texas prison system of a treatment/corrections and aftercare program for sex offenders and their victims. He has more than 25 years experience in the fields of counseling, mental health treatment, crisis intervention, post-traumatic stress, death and dying, and individual, marriage and family services. He has facilitated mutual help/treatment groups composed of adults abused as children, adult rapists, child sex offenders, domestic violence offenders and their victims. He has also facilitated groups with persons facing addictive/obsessive/compulsive behavior related to drugs and alcohol dependency, co-dependency, sex, food emotions, exercise, work, religion, gambling, and relationships. David has also designed and facilitated parent education and nurturing programs and therapeutic children and family groups.
Most recently as State Coordinator of the Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue program for the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he began and developed a process and program to provide the opportunity for victims of violent crime to meet with their offenders in order to facilitate a healing, “re-ordering” process, including death row cases. In addition to facilitating many of these mediations, David has trained volunteer mediators to facilitate this process within Texas as well as provided training and consultation to other states and countries interested in replication or adaptation of the process.
He has learned first-hand what the Criminal Justice system can offer: from outcry of the victim to the final disposition of the offender’s sentence, to the aftermath and struggle of both victim and offender to find some semblance of meaning and justice and accountability. He can especially appreciate the intensity of feelings evoked when nothing makes sense and one is left numb, depressed, angry, resentful, alone, insecure, empty; he understands the anxiety and fear caused by an inordinate level of stress; and his experience with death row offenders and the Texas execution process has uniquely provided him with a depth of insight and understanding that can be powerfully applied to other daily life and death struggles.
As a pastor, David has experienced the struggle of faith communities to identify, clarify and live out their mission. He knows the difficult task of people of faith seeking to be congruent and committed to making a difference in their individual lives, in their families, as well as in corporate or social structures, as they yearn for peace and justice.
And from a personal perspective, David has been one who has experienced pain, shame, lack of direction and loss of self—as a victim and as a consequence of his own offending behavior. He has also been one who has experienced hope and grace and a renewed sense of meaning in his life, using that personal experience to facilitate acceptance and hope for others.
David’s work has been nationally and internationally recognized, including in the August 1998 issue of Texas Monthly magazine, in an article entitled “Contrition”; on CBS 48 Hours special documentary “My Daughter’s Killer”, February 4, 1999; in the Winter 2000 issue of HOPE magazine in an article entitled, “Crying for Justice: When victims in grief meet offenders in shame, profound new healings take place”; and in the books Signs of Hope—In Praise of Ordinary Heroes, edited by Jon Wilson and Kimberly Ridley (Pushcart Press) and When to Forgive by Mona Gustafson Affinito, PhD., L.P. (New Harbinger Publications).
David is 52 years old and resides in Austin, Texas. His wife, Cindy Kay Doefler, R.N., B.S.N., is executive director of PPD Development, a Phase I medical research company. David and Cindy each brought to their marriage two daughters: Ashley 26, Meredith 23, Andi 21, and Elizabeth 18.
*For further details and background, including a detailed vitae, click here.