My name is Michael Strub and welcome to my blog. For over the past 20 years I have been an advocate of patients’ rights. I have fought for the medically fragile community and have made changes to help with not only their quality of life, but also for the families of the patients. Throughout my career I have had a private practice where I have worked with children, individuals and families to help with life stresses and issues. I believe that I have always put the well being of patients first. Were you to search my name on google or any other search engine, you would not come across any information about the work I have done, the patients with whom I have spent my life working, or my life in general; instead, you would come to read about charges made against me for holding a degree from a diploma mill. This comes as no surprise, for the assistant attorney general wishes this information, and only this information, to be used to create my identity. I now find it necessary to advocate for myself. Though I have spent my life advocating for my patients, helping countless children, and raising hundreds of thousands dollars for programs designed to continue my therapy, I have never been as capable to speak on my own behalf. But if I have any hope to carry on with my work, if I have nay hope to continue helping those who genuinely need help, I must speak up for myself.
In 2001, I inquired about an online school in Evaston, Wyoming I came to learn about through an advertisement. This school accepted life experience and required of its applicant all the other prerequisites when applying to school, including a written essay and all previous transcripts. After touring the college from its website, I believed what I was seeing was real. I believed this was a legitimate institution that would give me the opportunity to grow as a therapist, and that it would compliment the Masters degree I hold in social work from Jane Addams School of Social Work and the University of Illinois (Chicago Campus). After being accepted to the school in Evaston, in a little over a year I received a non-accredited PhD in Philosophy in the field of psychology.Though people normally spend years in course work and research in order to obtain a doctorate degree, the school in Evaston’s program was similar to Hamilton University, that is, it allowed life experience in place of the course work and research. Having already been practicing for years, I felt that this substitution was appropriate and was grateful that the institution recognized the value of my previous work. Along with submitting my essay and post graduate transcripts, I was required to take a class and write a research paper on which I spent approximately one-hundred and fifty hours. The bulk of the work required for the degree rested upon the life experience portion. Having already worked for sometime, it was easy to believe that my life experience was as valid as traditional work. In 1989, with the help of my wife, I created a home for medically fragile children and their families, which at the time was the first of its kind. This program, which I named the Ashley House, was a non-profit program in Enumclaw, Washington. The house itself is an eleven-thousand square foot home where at any time ten-fourteen medically fragile children on life support, burn victims, near drownings, and children with rare birth defects could live. The home also housed my family and about forty-five staff members. At this home I was able to try to reach my goal, namely, to provide the children with a home environment over and against the hospital setting. Once at the Ashley House, I was able to offer the families therapy and, again, assist them in making the transition to a home environment. To my gratitude, this novel program was successful: my family raised over one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars and governor Booth Gardner even held a ribbon cutting ceremony during May. This house continues to operate and four additional houses have been established in Washington.
Given this unusual life experience, I felt confident in submitting it in place of course work and research. Again, I wish to stress the reasons I sought a doctorate: I had hopes to one day use my experience to write a book. However, I did not use the degree in any selfish manner. Never have I once introduced myself as Dr. Strub. All of my contracts with insurance companies are under my masters in social work, of which I am indeed licensed. Upon earning the degree, I added the title to my name, as I believed I had earned it by meeting the requirements of the school. Once I learned the truth about the integrity of the institution, I immediately removed the title from my name and anything related to my name. My knowledge and experience in counseling is founded upon my education from Jane Addams School of Social Work (where I received my degree in 1986). I used this information on my disclosure form for my clients to view and was under the impression that everything was lawful. However, I have been proven wrong. As it happens, the school does not exist (information I was not aware of until I received charges from the department of health). Unfortunately, the assistant attorney general refuses to accept the truth. He is determined to make it appear that all along I knew about the true character of the institution in Evaston, and is now adamant about stripping me of my license so that I cannot continue my life’s work.
Please understand that I have never gained financially from my degree from Evaston. Furthermore, I have only ever used the fact that I am a licensed clinical social worker. It would be an impossible task to articulate to you the pain this has caused my family. If you are a current client of mine, you are more than likely already mindful of this situation; however, everything will be decided between June 30th- July 3rd. If you are a current/former client of mine, I ask of you to send a reply if you feel that I have been able to help you while we have worked together in counseling. If you are a friend, I ask of you to speak publicly about my character as a person, for it is my character that is being distorted and made out to be dishonest. And if you are a colleague who has worked with me in the past, I ask of you to address my abilities as a therapist. Should I lose my license because of this, I will have put my family in financial ruin and will be robbed of many more chances to help the people to whom I have dedicated my life. I am a good therapist; I love what I do and I sincerely love helping others. Again, if you are a current/former client , a friend, or a former colleague, I need your help now. Thank you.