“Where does the time go?” asks Jim Hutt after doing a rough count of his years of tenure as a Certified Marriage and Family Counselor in Menlo Park. Jim, who also has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, has had offices on Middlefield Road, in Palo Alto and, for the last 15 years, in the medical building at 1225 Crane.
Asked if there were problems that seemed specific to his home town, Jim answers, “Certainly, Silicon Valley’s start-up culture, with its long hours and super-pressurized jobs, can cause tremendous stress on couples. Families everywhere have problems attempting to balance child-rearing and careers, but the problem is uniquely acute here.”
Jim reports that, at any given time, about 10 to 15 per cent of his practice is counseling gay and lesbian couples: “It’s what you’d expect. My experience is that about one in ten people is gay, and Menlo Park is no exception.” Jim also counsels the straight relatives of gay and lesbian people who are having problems adjusting to a loved one’s sexual orientation.
Asked if gay and lesbian couples have special problems, Jim answers “No, not at all. The issues are exactly the same for any two people who choose to share an intimate relationship, regardless of whether they are straight or gay.”
Jim also makes his home in Menlo Park, of which he says, “Believe me, I know the stress that long hours and frequent business travel can cause families. I wanted a career where I could live and work in the same town – and travel only when I wanted to. I like seeing my kids at night. I like the small-town feel. I like neighborhoods.”