Becky Whetstone is an Arkansas native and has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Arkansas and has an LMFT license in Texas. Speaking of Arkansas, Becky was born in El Dorado, a town in the south central part of the state, moved to Little Rock with her family when she was 10, and graduated from Parkview High School in 1976. In 1984 she moved to San Antonio where she lived and worked for 26 years. In December 2011 she moved to Arkansas to be near family, and Becky opened her Little Rock practice in January 2012. Unfortunately Becky only sees clients in Texas via phone, Skype, and Facetime, and sometimes her lone star state clients travel to Arkansas for a few more hours of therapy with Doctor Becky!
Many San Antonians are familiar with Becky’s work as a journalist. Interested in relationships and psychological issues for as long as she can remember, Becky’s dream since childhood was to replace famed advice columnist Ann Landers when the writer would eventually retire. To prepare, Becky began to read about and study relationship issues, beginning from childhood, and even while going to school at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
In 1980 Becky graduated with a BA in Journalism from GWU, and in 1984 moved to Texas and became a housewife and mother. In the early 1990’s, she plunged into journalism when she interned at the San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS TV as a medical reporter. Soon after she began freelancing for the San Antonio Express-News. She was hired there in 1994 as a features writer, and in 1996 began writing about relationships in a column that ran in the SA Life section — she was thinking, “Watch out Ann Landers!” While writing the column, Becky created an area-wide phenomenon called the Singles Revolution dedicated to professional singles who were seeking to have healthy relationships. She convened get-togethers that backed up traffic in San Antonio’s Quarry shopping center, and facilitated a singles volunteer force that cleaned up and remodeled a deteriorating playground at a local San Antonio elementary school. While Becky spoke to singles about how to have a better life, she also wrote about her own life as a single mother, and about the lives of many south Texans — married, gay, families, step families, seniors — who wanted to have better relationships with themselves and others. Only now, looking back, Becky believes her column was the FIRST of the Sex and the City type genre that became so popular almost 10 years later. Today she writes on her business blog, and she publishes blog articles on the Huffington Post. It’s just all part of Becky’s plan for everyone to have access to great relationship information.
In 1998 Becky left the paper and began writing a column for the North San Antonio Times. She also began discussing relationships on the NBC affiliate KMOL’s San Antonio Living Show with then-host Tanji Patton, as well as the am radio news talk station, WOAI 1200. As more and more people in south Texas began to turn to Becky for relationship advice, she felt the need to bring more depth to what she knew and to expand her knowledge, so in 2001 she entered graduate school. In 2002 she began seeing clients as a therapist, and in 2003 Becky received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University. After graduation she entered the doctoral program there, and graduated with a Ph.D. in 2006 – this achievement was one of the most challenging of her life. Her dissertation research was an investigation of how individuals in long-term marriages (10-years or longer) decide to divorce. The information she learned during this extensive research project changed the way Becky views courtship, marriage, and divorce, and serves to make her even more passionate about helping people have healthy relationships.
Since 2001 Becky has worked at various clinics and agencies, including the Family Violence Prevention Center where she worked with women who were in abusive relationships, and has seen thousands of clients. In the spring of 2006 she opened her private practice where she works with individuals, couples, and families. In addition to counseling, Becky has been an adjunct professor of psychology at Northwest Vista College, in the graduate school counseling department at St. Mary’s University, and in the spring of 2008 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and has served as a board-approved adjunct professor at San Antonio College. With all of this academic experience it’s probably obvious that Becky enjoys teaching and mentoring students and interns, so watch for low cost therapy being provided soon (Summer 2014) by interns working under her guidance! In addition to teaching, she has served as a counseling supervisor to recent graduates of counseling who were working toward their professional counseling license as well as doctoral students in need of counseling supervision.
Becky’s areas of interest are in personal growth, how humans select mates, the courtship process, the agony of the divorce decision, grief, and divorce recovery. She has spent thousands of hours studying and researching these subjects, and continues to expand her knowledge in these areas.
For years as a single mother Becky raised two precious children, 25-year-old daughter Casey Marie, who lives in San Antonio, and son Benjamin, who would be 28 this year. Unfortunately, Becky mourns the tragic death of her beloved son, who was born in July 1987 and joined the United States Marines in 2008 and became a Lance Corporal and scout sniper. Sadly he was killed in action in Afghanistan on October 6, 2011, just 7 months before his 4-year commitment in the Marines was to end. Although this is the most devastating thing that Becky has ever experienced, and she still struggles with a broken heart and missing her son, she strongly feels that working through emotional pain such as this builds compassion and wisdom and can only help her more deeply connect with her clients. It is also helpful to Becky knowing that her son Benjamin was her biggest fan and turned to her often for personal and relationship advice. As a tribute she manages a memorial Facebook page (all are welcome, so join us there – LCpl Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt. Beloved friend, son, fallen hero – in his honor and sometimes produces videos about his life: “It keeps him alive for me,” Becky says. “It keeps him in our minds and hearts, and as his mom I feel it’s my responsibility to do that.”
When times are tough, it is helpful to have a healthy person on which to lean. Becky is fortunate to share a very loving, happy and supportive marriage with her best friend, Dr. John Cheairs of Little Rock – the two tied the knot on May 25, 2013! Becky is delighted to have two wonderful stepsons John & Stephen Cheairs, both grown and lots of fun. In addition to her family, Becky also loves her pets … she has two beloved Chihuahuas, Daisy May and Lucy Lu. When it comes to hobbies, Becky grows vegetables and flowers in the home she shares with her husband, and also enjoys hiking, biking, nature (take her outdoors!), driving her red Jeep Wrangler, cooking in cast iron cookware, writing, painting (walls and art) and a variety of creative endeavors such as photography, furniture refinishing, and producing videos. For more information email Becky at: email@example.com.