Random Sample

  • Member since: 2007, affiliate since 1997.

  • Occupation: A psychologist with the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC), in Acadia, Fla., a facility owned by the Florida Department of Children and Families and operated by GEO Care Inc. GEO Care provides contract services for all of Florida's civilly committed sexually violent predators: Under Florida law, after convicted predators serve their jail sentences, they may be "civilly committed" and sent to mandatory treatment. Pake leads a team of four psychologists who evaluate offenders to determine their treatment needs while at the FCCC. He also provides treatment. "Some of the residents here are in treatment for as long as five years," says Pake. He's also conducting research related to persons that sexually abuse. "We don't have much in the way of standardized tests for this population," says Pake. "There's a huge need for assessment materials in this area."

  • An evolving career: This line of work is not new for Pake, who was in private practice until last May. In 2006 he earned his PsyD in clinical psychology from the APA-accredited Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, and opened a clinic in Panama City, Fla. "My passion is rural community mental health care," he says. "It was such a great place to be because in rural practice, you work with everyone and every problem that comes in the door. You have to stay on top of your skills and the job never goes stale." The GEO Group recruited him to join their clinical team at the FCCC in 2008. At first, he was reluctant. "I had plenty of work to do," and he was enjoying it immensely. But because they offered him the opportunity to work with Robin Wilson, PhD, an international authority on treating people who have sexually abused, he decided it was too good an offer to pass up.

  • Previous career: Making a career change wasn't novel for Pake: He retired from his first career as a Marine in 1996 after 22 years. He says of his world wide service with the Marines, "It took me 13 years and six different universities to get my bachelor's degree." He earned his master's in counseling psychology in 1998 after he retired and while his two youngest children were in high school. He has four children, now all grown, with Terri, his wife of 32 years.

  • Why psychology?: "It's just a good fit for me," he says. "Throughout my life, people have naturally come to me to talk about their problems."

  • Hobby: Rehabilitating furniture. "I guess you could call me a dumpster diver," he laughs. "I collect cast-off furniture to refinish and repurpose."

  • Future plans: He's also working on creating an APA-accredited internship program at the Florida Civil Commitment Center. But for now, he says, "I really enjoy what I'm doing and I'm having a blast doing it."

Each month, "Random Sample" profiles a randomly selected APA member. You might be next.