Hi there, welcome to the page where I talk about my life a bit.

Life is sweet for me right now. Here’s why: Poop

That’s my little guy, Kai Zissou on the EC potty with my lovely wife, Andrea. We have another son named Sacha Mateo. He has been wanting his hair to be long, “for it can be beautiful,” he said. Check it out:

Sacha Valley

All of my work right now is in the gentle birth world, which is spent teaching classes about empathy and also doing design work for doulas, midwives, and the organizations associated with birth. It’s a dream come true to be working for myself. My mission is to make a difference and a living, which is so much satisfying for me. Before this, I had worked as a licensed psychotherapist seeing families, and it was satisfying yet challenging work that had me in the counseling office for long hours. Now, I work from home and can participate in all the joys (and completely insane moments) that come with raising a family. (Wow, is anyone else totally wondering why it’s so difficult sometimes?)

Well, here we are, chugging away at our dreams one day at a time. We are aiming for a nice modern house built in the mountains outside Denver, complete with chickens, a guest suite (so you can come visit), and fruit trees on the property. Until then, we’ll be here in Kansas City near family while keeping things simple.

Joe in Studio

If you are interested in getting some design love into your business or exploring how empathy can add to your life, then send me a message, I’d love to hear what you’ve got going on: message.

Thanks for checking me out and cheering me on. Here’s to living with passion and teaching our children empathy. Let’s change the world, shall we?






More about how Empowered Papa came to be:

The Valleys

When Andrea told me that she was pregnant with our first kid, I was really happy for her and shared my enthusiasm for the fantastic news. After all, we took out the goalie with the intention of conceiving. However, it took me a minute to realize that her pregnancy also meant something for myself, that I’d be a father.  Who would have thought?

I was doing my graduate work in counseling at the time, and so I focused my energies on creating a resource that I badly wanted for myself. It was a father support group called “Holy $#!t She’s Pregnant.” Not one guy showed up. Total failure. I have come to realize that expectant dads are about the last people on the face of the planet that are going to attend a support group for expectant dads where they sit around in a circle together and talk about their feelings. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Later, after our baby was born at home, Andrea and I created a syllabus for daddy-specific prenatal education. The response in the birth community was fantastic. Dads even showed up to classes, which I think was partly due to the fact that their pregnant partners said to them, “Hey, go take this class. Do it for me.”

Andrea and I would eventually call our class Empowered Papa, and as it grew, we discovered that much of our work really had to do with birth professionals. Doulas, midwives, and childbirth educators were the ones cheering on the Empowered Papa mission to equip dads with the good juju for strong birth support. In fact, the entire Empowered Papa mission has transformed into serving birth professionals in their efforts to connect with and inspire dads around the Western world. After all, it is the birth professionals that are doing all the great work with families. How amazing is it when they really knew how to support dads in the way that dads need?

If you are a mom, a dad, or a birth professional, we cheer you on in your efforts to promote gentle birth. We are inspired by you and your courage. Keep going; the world needs you.

Joe Valley