Family Life Skills of Austin
Sunday, July 21, 2019

Our Founders

Paul Hegstrom: lived the first forty years of his life not understanding the driving force that caused him to self-destruct again and again.  He could not understand why his anger would never subside. He could not communicate or identify his feelings.  His anger harmed his family, and nothing was ever resolved.  He knew something was wrong, but lived his life in denial.  Over $20,000 was spent on counseling where he was given “labels,” however, it never got to the root of his problem.  This only added to his anger and frustration.  His 16-year marriage ended because he could not get the help he needed.  The violence continued in subsequent relationships and finally, after being involved in a life-threatening situation (attempted murder charge) that could have meant 15-20 years in prison, he asked for help.  It was the hardest thing he ever had to do.
Dr. Hegstrom passed away in April of 2017 after a lengthy illness.  His family was by his side as he left this world and entered into his eternal glory.  His daughter, Heidi Hegstrom Stupavsky has taken on leadership of Life Skills International, and plans to continue his legacy of bringing health and freedom to the hurting.
Dr. Paul & Judy Hegstrom:
As a result of asking for and receiving help from a pilot program, Paul found some answers for his behavior, but it still wasn’t enough.  He began searching for deeper answers.  He has spent well over 18,000 hours in research with the goal of developing a curriculum that would offer hope and help to the abuser, the victim, and the families involved in domestic violence.  “Learning to Live, Learning to Love” is the result of his research, together with over 36,000 hours spent facilitating groups for the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.
In 1983, Paul and Judy were remarried.  They brought healing to their own family as they worked to set up Life Skills International (formerly DVP, Domestic Violence Project), a non-profit domestic violence organization based out of Aurora, Colorado.  As a testimony to the program’s effectiveness, their second marriage has been free of emotional and physical abuse since its beginning.  All three children and their families live violence free lives.  They are a part of the healing that is offered to tens of thousands around the world through the Life Skills program.  Life Skills has expanded into an international program with over 150 centers across the United States and around the world.

Dr. Paul's Credentials:

  • Ph.D. in Pastoral Marriage and Family Therapy, Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • M.S. in Pastoral Counseling, Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • B.S. in Pastoral Counseling, Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Honorary Doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters, Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and Domestic Violence Counselor Endorsement, National Board of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists
  • Level IV Domestic Violence Certification, National Association of Forensic Counselors
  • Member of AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors)
  • Member of CAPS (Christian Association of Psychological Studies)
  • 18,000 hours of research in Domestic Violence and related issues
  • 36,000 hours facilitating clinics for victims and perpetrators of abuse
  • An internationally recognized authority in attitude and behavioral changes
  • Author of Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them, Beacon Hill Press, Spring 1999
  • Author of Broken Children, Grown Up Pain, Beacon Hill Press, Summer 2001
  • Founder/Developer of the Life Skills International Program ("Learning to Live, Learning to Love" Curriculum)
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Heidi Hegstrom Stupavsky:

Heidi has worked for Life Skills International since 1985 and has recently taken on the role of President and CEO after the passing of her father,
Dr. Paul Hegstrom.  She has been the Executive Director of her own Life Skills Affiliate and has been involved in every aspect of LSI Home Office, 
including facilitating many women's and youth classes, traveling with her parents, and taking part in many of the interviews in which Dr. Paul and
Judy Hegstrom were featured.