By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL – With a lifetime of living and a lifetime of counseling experience, Dr. John “Pat” Galloway said he is returning to practice because he wants to help people find a way to happiness.
Galloway has a great resume of college education—graduating with a degree in Sociology and Psychology from Louisiana College, followed by a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tulane, and finally a PhD in Sociology and Rehabilitation Counseling.
He has spent close to 50 years counseling in the area of the family, from domestic situations to child custody to marriage and divorce.
For 12 years he became quite well-known in Southeast Louisiana thanks to a daily talk show on WWL radio where he offered family counseling of all kinds, all leading to official retirement at the age of 65, although he continued to counsel on an individual basis.
Now, Galloway has decided to come out of retirement and offer his expertise to individuals, couples and families because he simply wants to help.
“I’m not in this for the money,” he said. “I know how much I can help people with the experience I have, and I want to do that at this point in my life.”
Galloway, who became known as “Dr. Pat” on the radio for over a decade, said he has learned that “everything in life revolves around the family. It’s the central unit of society. It is affected by our education, it is connected to our job and it’s the thing we need working properly if we want to be truly happy.”
His counseling work centers around various aspects of the family, including topics such as marriage and divorce, conflict resolution, parenting, elderly support and motivational programs.
“The theme of everything I will do will revolve around the family,” he explained. “The problem so many people have is that they still haven’t understood that you can’t change anyone but yourself.
“People get married and have an image of how they want to live and they try to get others to fit that image. But when they see the spouse isn’t changing, they get very anxious and it leads to problems,” he said.
Galloway said he feels very strongly about doing everything possible to avoid divorce.
“The family needs to stay together and even though so many people are sure divorce is the right way to solve the problems, they usually find it is isn’t so much better,” he stated.
“I always recommend to people who are sure they want to divorce that they separate and live apart for a while. They usually see that it isn’t as wonderful as they imagine it’s going to be,” he said.
Galloway said when children are involved in a family a divorce is still far from settling the problems because a mother and father will always have to interact over the kids.
“That’s why I always tell a couple who plans to divorce that they need to think of other people, especially their children and other family members, before they take that step,” he said.
“Divorce affects everyone around you—all your family members. Sometimes you find that you may not like someone, but it’s still important to learn how to live with them if they are in your family,” he said.
Galloway said the number two biggest factor in life is the job we select.
“If you are going to spend eight hours a day doing something for nearly 40 years then you certainly need to find a job that you don’t mind going to everyday for a long time,” he said.
The doctor said he recently was counseling an 85-year-old man who had been very successful in life, but was now living out his final days bound to a bed.
“He has told me so many times that the things you buy and the things you do for yourself are not what will make you happy. Humility is the name of the game and doing for others is what makes people happy—and that includes people in your own family,” he added.
Galloway moved to the North Shore in 1972 and became involved in circles with top local businessmen like Pat Miramon, well-known physicians such as Dr. Robert Weiss, Dr. Jack Sewell and Dr. James Holmes, attorneys such as Pat Berrigan, Judge Steven Duczer, and top law enforcement personnel. He was also involved with civic groups such as the Slidell Rotary Club and others.
“I was fortunate to be around these men and women who were all similar in that they spent their lives helping each other and helping other people,” he said.
“I remember Pat Miramon in particular as a man who made probably more money than most people, but he was always concerned about his men continuing to work,” he said. “Unhappy people are the ones who are into themselves. Real satisfaction in life is about helping others—and that’s not just a Christian ethic.”
To talk with Galloway or make an appointment, call him at 504-495-3992, or you can contact him through e-mail at email@example.com.