Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Links: Resources for Life | Search Links
Therapist Resources, Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors, Emotional States Processing
Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing
for therapists / clinicians: Information is available about upcoming seminars/workshops/trainings,
office space offered and wanted, employment opportunities offered and wanted,
buying mailing lists, and placing an ad through the electronic online TherapistExchange Newsletter.
Sign up for a weekly e-mail of the newsletter. Also PubMed comprises more than
19 million citations for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals.
The California Psychological Association and its regional chapters offer help
for psychologists who are in burnout or struggling with issues that are effecting
their effectiveness as professionals in their Colleague Assistance & Support
Program (CLASP) along with other resources, including Ethics on Call, Advocacy
& Government Affairs, the HIPAA Resource Center, upcoming Workshops/Conferences,
the Career Center, Links and Consumer Resources among others. Similar services
are available through the associations for marriage and family therapists (MFT's)
and social workers. Links are also provided for reporting of suspected child,
elder, couple, and developmentally disabled adult when "reasonable suspicion"
is present. The national reporting of child abuse is available through the Childhelp
National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-422-4453) and the county Child Protective
Services child abuse hotline. The California Department of Social Services
is directly responsible for all the child and adult protective services. The Childhelp's
Children's Center of California has a long history of making a difference
in the lives of abused and neglected children in California along with providing
the national child abuse hotline above. Importantly, Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP
& Melba J. T. Vasquez, Ph.D., ABPP provide a "Therapist's Guide For Preparing
a Professional Will" at a link below and taken from their book How to
Survive & Thrive as a Therapist: Information, Ideas, & Resources for Psychologists
(2005). Ken Pope provides a very useful compendium of resources for clinicians
for assessing and responding to suicide risk.
Standards & Practice Guidelines: Ken Pope has over 130 links to complete
copies of codes, standards, and guidelines addressing specific areas of practice,
specific aspects of practice, specific theoretical orientations, and different
professions. A link is provided to the International CoachingFederation (ICF)
code of ethics and model code of conduct for those who engage in life coaching,
business coaching, executive coaching and relationship coaching.
identify the signals for violence to protect the safety of doctors, clinicians,
nurses and hospital workers through a July 2010 article in Psychiatric
offers a free electronic newsletter and wonderful weekly resource for clinicians
sent to more than 2000 subscribers who are looking to post or peruse continuing
education, groups for therapists, meetings, seminars, workshops, educational/self-help/therapy
groups for patients, offices for rent or sale, positions available, practice announcements
and services wanted. Additionally, the publisher, Edward E. Hall, Ph.D. offers
mailing lists within the counties of California and the state as a whole on the
newletter's home page. There is also listings for needing a referral (TherapistExchange.com)
and making a referral (TherapistExchange.com).
A terrific resource and highly recommended.
look at the resources for therapists who are stalked, threatened, or attacked
by clients assembled by Ken Pope. He and Melba Vasquez reviewed research indicating
that "Almost one in 5 psychologists reported having been physically attacked
by at least one client", "Over 80% of the psychologists reported having
been afraid that a client would attack them" and "Over one out of 4
had summoned the police or security personnel for protection from a client."
March 2011 article explores patient violence against health care professionals
focusing attention on safety assessment and management. A March 2011 article
entitled "No easy way to tell which patients may be violent" in
the American Medical Association's American Medical News by Paul S.
Appelbaum, MD is well worth reading.
Freedom Center: A remarkable clearing house of resources, support and activism
community run by and for people labeled with severe 'mental disorders' offering
important publications including, "Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric
Drugs" & "PsychRights: Law Project for Psychiatric Rights"
(from the National Coalition for Mental Health RecoveryAlso peruse the
June 2011 article in magazine The Sun by Gail Hornstein titled "The Voices
Inside Their Heads: Gail Hornstein's Approach To Understanding Madness" and
read PsychDiagnosis.net addressing "The Harm Suffered by Many People because
of a Psychiatric Diagnosis is a Well-Kept Secret." All a stunning, stellar
and courageous expression of empowerment.
produced by Victor Yalom, Ph.D. offers many helpful resources and opportunities
for clinicians, including a free monthly email newsletter, articles and interviews,
blogs, opportunities to publish their articles, build a website and earn CE course
credits, psychotherapy videos and counseling DVDs, a learning center arranged
by approach, therapeutic issue, population and expert, and the comic relief of
therapeutic cartoons. A wonderful resource.
Places Have Highest Suicide Rates, says April 2011 research: Research showed
that the happiest countries (e.g., Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland
and Switzerland) and happiest U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates.
An excerpt: "University of Warwick researcher Professor Andrew Oswald said:
"Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated
by life. Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If
humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable
in an environment in which other humans are unhappy." Professor Stephen Wu
of Hamilton College said: "This result is consistent with other research
that shows that people judge their well-being in comparison to others around them.
These types of comparison effects have also been shown with regards to income,
unemployment, crime, and obesity."
also see Dr. Friedman's "Clinician's and Psychological Professionals"
page, "Universal Forms, Inventories and Approaches (Downloads)" and
specifically his adapted "Assessing Suicidal Risk" that compiles four
of the best checklists available.
"The Wrong Type of Talk Therapy" by psychologist Keely Kolmes published
in March 2011in the New York Times discusses her concern for having
consumer review sites like Yelp begin to review confidential mental health care
services. Her conclusion is to propose that review sites might create separate
forums devoted to health-related services, like those modeled after health-specific
review sites like HealthGrades. An well-thought through article addressing a ticklish
Hypotheses for Emotional / Psychological states underlying specific physical disturbances
Your books provide a wealth of possible hypotheses for the emotional/psychological states underlying specific physical disturbances/diseases. First and foremost it is important to rule out organicity with appropriate medical tests and engaging in fitting interventions on this level. Exactly what level of life, whether physical, genetic/ancestral, cognitive, emotional or spiritual, intervention needs to occur requires astute discernment and fine judgment. Often you simply do not know all the levels or variables that contribute to any physical symptoms. In my experience the possible emotional/psychological meanings/causes underlying specific physical illnesses/disturbances in the following books can sometimes be exaggerated, extreme or simply inaccurate. Most of the time though, many of the probably causes these books offer can be uncannily accurate. Of course, only each being can look and see whether what is stated fits or doesn't fit and is worth further investigation. The books are:
1. Louise Hay, Heal Your Body A-Z: The Mental Causes of Physical Illness and the Way to Overcome Them (2000)
2. Karol K. Truman, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die (1991)
3. Michael J. Lincoln, Ph.D., Messages From the Body: Their Psychological Meaning (1991, Revised 2006)
4. Daniel R. Condron, Permanent Healing (1991)
New Age Mythologies Deconstructed
New Age culture has spawned its own mythologies, most notably the "create
your own reality" belief regarding traumatic experiences and serious diagnoses/terminal
illnesses. This belief is false, a complete distortion, disempowering, outrageously
hurtful and cannot be advised. In an article "New Age Healing Mythologies"
by Judith Prebluda, MA, L.M.H.C., she writes: "In an attempt to empower,
consciously, and an attempt to ward off our own fears of vulnerability, unconsciously,
we New Agers add onto the trauma already experienced, such as being raped or attacked,
or receiving a diagnoses of a serious or even terminal illness, by implying that
the experience is their fault, that they did choose it, and/or deserve
it." Those who work closely with people dealing with trauma do not endorse
this mythology since it is hurtful, harmful and disempowering by "blaming
the victim." Ken and Treya Wilber write most eloquently and compassionately
of Treya's journey dealing with very virulent breast cancer in the early 1980's
in their book Grace and Grit (1991), Judith Prebluda continues, "Treya
Wilbur describes numerous encounters with well-meaning therapists and healers
who gave heroften uninvitedadvise and analyses of how she had either
created or maintained her illness. She writes about how painful and often devastating
the effect of this was for her, and how little help it was." Once again,
this "create your own reality" mythology/perspective is neither advised
Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing
Mind-Body Medicine / Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) Resources
review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for cognitive and emotional
health from Helpguide.org,
a non-profit resource and compiled from Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D. The PDR Drug
Guide for Mental Health Professionals, 3rd Edition (2007) has a superb section
in the back of the book entitled "Psychotropic Herbs and Supplements"
that gives a listing of the "nutritional supplements and herbs generally
deemed most promising for specific mental and emotional problems." The link
below to pdrhealth.com
can provide useful and authoritative information on prescription drugs, over the
counter (OTC) drugs along with herbals and supplements.A key resource for people
oriented to more naturalistic CAM approaches in collaboration with licensed health
Diaphragmatic / Abdominal Breathing
Healthy diaphragmatic (or abdominal)
breathingDeep abdominal or diaphragmatic (named after moving our diaphragm)
is generally considered a healthier and fuller way to ingest life-giving oxygen.
It provides many health benefits including lowered stress, triggering the relaxation
response, improved stamina, boost energy, helps digestion, helps us to ground
and center, enhances cardiovascular/circulatory system and strengthens the immune
system. This form of breathing contrasts with shallow, chest or upper chest breathing
which does a poor job of oxygenating our lungs, brains and bodies, yet most people
engage in upper chest breathing most of the time. Michael Brown, author of The
Presence Process: A Healing Journey into Present Moment Awareness (2005, page
79) makes the extraordinary statement that human beings are "...in the
habit of using less than 20% of our lung capacity." Given the fact that
the diaphragm does about 80% of the work of breathing, it makes sense that people
not using their diaphragm to breath would only be using less than 20% of their
lung's capacity. Oxygen is essential for life and it would seem equally essential
to being present.It would not be too surprising if presence itself requires more
oxygen. Michael Brown recommends a 15-minute breathing session/exercise of slow
"consciously connected breathing" (not to be confused with hyperventilating)
twice daily to aid presence, balance and health.
Ergonomics of Sitting / Standing / Walking
Sitting Ergonomics and
proper sitting, standing and walking postureOffice and home space sitting
ergonomics in working at a desk in front of a computer screen and proper sitting,
standing and walking posture make an enormous positive difference for your health
Stretches / Exercises for the Low-Back
Low-back stretches and exercises
can aid feeling well and preventatively staying well with your bodyBefore
doing any of these stretches and exercises, be sure it is fitting and appropriate
for you. If there is any question, then please first check with your health care
professional. Learn step-by-step with instructions and pictures the simple cat
stretch, full-body mobilizer, pelvic tilt, spinal twist stretch, gluteal stretches
and a variety of other back stretching and strengthening exercises. Also learn
seated back stretches for home and work offices.
Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing
Emotional / Social / Behavioral / Strange Contagion
social and emotional contagion: TheyMagazine September 10, 2009 article
"Are Your Friends Making You Fat?" shares the latest research by social
scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler using the Framingham Heart Study
of 15,000 Framingham residents and descendants from 1971 to 2003 to test the theory
that they influenced each other just by socializing and found support that both
constructive and destructive behaviors are the product of regular contact with
other healthy or unhealthy friends. This held true for patterns of obesity, smoking,
drinking, happiness and even loneliness. What is really intriguing is their postulating
that our ability to affect people extends three degrees away from usthe
people we regularly associate with AND the people they regularly associate with!
While controversial and clearly needing further research and verification, these
results are quite intriguing. Also explore the findings regarding the closely
related phenomenon of "emotional contagion", although I would prefer
to call it being an "emotional (and social) chameleon", like old world
lizards that change their skin color quickly to blend into their natural environments
and thus not be seen by their natural predators--if they can't see you, they can't
eat you! The 1994 book Emotional Contagion by Elaine Hatfield, John T.
Cacioppo & Richard L. Rapson was the breakthrough publication. Loneliness
is contagious and can spread from person to person according to a December 2009
study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Contagion / Strange Contagions: Behavioral contagion was first introduced
by Le Ban in 1895 and has been associated with incidents of "mass phenomena."
As Larry Dossey, MD in the May 2010 issue of Explore discusses, "Laughter
isn't the only social behavior that is contagious."There are documented
cases in the social infectedness or contagion of yawning, crying, coughing, raving/dancing,
jumping, mewing, screaming, applause, voting, biting and murder-suicides to name
a few. Being social animals, are all human behaviors open to social contagion,
running the gamut from poor self-care to adolescent suicides? Are these instances
of hysterical personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, collective
fear and hysteria, simply the power of suggestion / copycat behavior, imitation/mimicry,
acts of persuasion, a survival strategy, groupthink/group behavior, mirror/motor
neurons or something else? One research finding showed that high density and larger
numbers increased the contagion of applause. Read on to discover a plethera of
manifestations in being a social animal.
Anger: It's Healthy release and Unhealthy Somatization
and unhealthy anger expression / transformationRelaxation, physical activities
like walking, jogging, yoga and meditation, changing your perceptions of what
happened, forgiveness along with decreasing the source of anger work far better
than ruminating over unfairness / mistreatment, black-and-white rigid thinking,
holding rigid rules/beliefs, and acting out anger: Forty years ago it was
thought that dramatically expressing anger through beating couches with rackets
and using rubber bats called botakas were means of expressing through and releasing
anger/hostility. Such means of expressing anger often seemed to not lower the
levels of anger, but actually elevated them and helped maintain the anger. More
recent approaches counsel the healthy expression of anger through physical exercise
and other avenues with a strong emphasis upon relaxation, letting go of the anger
and angry "hot thoughts" that keep re-triggering anger, and forgiveness
for your sake. The negative health consequences for holding onto anger / hostility,
as with Type A personality types, are destructive to oneself and others around
Cancer Personality?: Lydia Temoshok, Ph.D., Director of the Behavioral
Medicine Program, Biotechnology Institute University of Maryland Medical School
and co-author of The Type C Connection: The Mind-Body Link to Cancer and Your
Health pens a fine article entitled, "Unraveling the "Type C"
Connection: Is There a Cancer Personality?" Recommended. Also explore
the Type A personality, Type B personality and Type D personality on Wikipedia.
D Personality associated with higher future heart risk: In a mid-September 2010
news release by the American Heart Association (Explore Type A, B and C Personalities
as well): 49 studies of Type D personality and future heart health or psychological
health involving more than 6,000 patients found that heart patients with the "distressed"
(Type D) personality profile (characterized by chronic negative emotions, pessimism
and social inhibition) may face a higher risk of future cardiovascular problems,
specifically a three-fold increase for Type D heart patients in risk for issues
such as peripheral artery disease, angioplasty or bypass procedures, heart failure,
heart transplantation, heart attack or death. An excerpt: "Type D patients
tend to experience increased levels of anxiety, irritation and depressed mood
across situations and time, while not sharing these emotions with others because
of fear of disapproval," said Viola Spek, Ph.D., senior author of the study
and a researcher at Tiburg University in the Netherlands. Lydia Temoshok, Ph.D.,
Director of the Behavioral Medicine Program, Biotechnology Institute University
of Maryland Medical School and co-author of The Type C Connection: The Mind-Body
Link to Cancer and Your Health pens a fine article entitled, "Unraveling
the "Type C" Connection: Is There a Cancer Personality?" Recommended.
Also explore the Type A personality, Type B personality and Type D personality
Fear: Reactive or Responsive
Research on fearreactive
or responsive?: An APA (American Psychological Association) Monitor On
Psychology article from November 2002 entitled "The Synaptic Self"
interviews New York University psychologist and neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux,
Ph.D., author of The Emotional Brain (1996), and his ground-breaking research
on the amygdala, the cluster of neurons near the base of the brain that stores
memories of fearful stimuli and triggers fear responses. His research studies
show two pathways through which the amygdala's fear responses can be triggered:
a fast "low road" that passes through the thalamus to the amygdala,
and a slower "high road" that passes from the thalamus to the neocortex
(frontal brain that is controls "executive" functions such as using
good judgment) and only then to the amygdala. The relatively crude "low road"
may respond to a long, thin object as a dangerous snakeand trigger an immediate
fear responsewhile the slower "high road" is determining that
the object is a harmless stick. LeDoux says, "People who have pathological
fears may be treating sticks as snakes all the time, metaphorically." This
is an excellent summary of his cutting-edge research that has important practical
implications for people who chronically experience anxiety and fear. Researchers
at the University of California, Berkeley published findings in February 2011
identified two different chinks in our brain circuitry that help understand how
some are more prone to anxiety than others. Their findings parallels Joseph LeDoux's
findings above. An excerpt: "In the brain imaging study, researchers
from UC Berkeley and Cambridge University discovered two distinct neural pathways
that play a role in whether we develop and overcome fears. The first involves
an overactive amygdala, which is home to the brains primal fight-or-flight
reflex and plays a role in developing specific phobias. The second involves activity
in the ventral prefrontal cortex, a neural region that helps us to overcome our
fears and worries. Some participants were able to mobilize their ventral prefrontal
cortex to reduce their fear responses even while negative events were still occurring,
the study found. "This finding is important because it suggests some people
may be able to use this ventral frontal part of the brain to regulate their fear
responseseven in situations where stressful or dangerous events are ongoing,
said UC Berkeley psychologist Sonia Bishop, lead author of the paper."
Anxiety / Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia / Shyness
A 10/4/2009 New
York Times Magazine article "Understanding the Anxious Mind" explores
Jerome Kagan's view of "high-reactive" people who are prone to experience
greater anxiety given both functional and structural MRI's showing a significant
thickening or thinning of the prefrontal cortex that acts as an inhibitor of the
amygdala's fear reactions.
anxiety linked to youth's stomach achesA 2011 study found the mind and
gut are tightly connected. A study in rodents suggests that digestive troubles
early in life may predispose people to developing anxiety and depression later
in adulthood. Another 2008 research study found that adolescents with frequent
abdominal pain are at increased risk for depressive symptoms, social isolation,
and missing school. Other links look at this association, especially with recurrent
abdominal pain (RAP) that typically affects kids ages 4 - 12.
Fears and Panic: Useful articles
Breathing Therapy Reduces Panic and Anxiety by Reversing Hyperventilation:
A technique to normalize breathing has proved better than traditional cognitive
therapy at reducing both symptoms of panic and hyperventilation, according to
a new study out of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The biological-behavioral
treatment program is called Capnometry-Assisted Respiratory Training (CART)
helps patients learn to breath in such a way to reverse hyperventilation with
breathing exercises twice a day, specifically breathing slower and especially
about test worries boost exam performance in the classroom: January 2011 research
found that short expressive writing intervention (10-minute pre-exam) can prevent
choking and enhance exam scores. In other words,writing about test worries
reduces performance deficits associated with high-pressure testing situations.
An excerpt: "We reasoned that, if worries lead to poor test performance
and writing helps regulate these worries, then giving students the opportunity
to express their thoughts and feelings about an impending examination would enhance
test performance. This is a somewhat counterintuitive idea given that drawing
attention to negative information typically makes it more rather than less salient
in memory. However, if expressive writing helps to reduce rumination, then it
should benefit high-stakes test performance, especially for students who tend
to worry in testing situations."
Fear and Self-Doubt: Therapists address client's fears and self-doubts by
not only changing behavior and challenging fears as irrational (i.e., phobias),
and now a third approach of accepting fears often can loosen their grip.
Introversion and Social AnxietyNatural contemplative cautiousness? evolutionary
tactic? Or psychological disorder?
Useful articles at a link below. The American Psychiatric Association and the
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have developed a medication
guide for treating depression released in September 2010 with a link below
to it in various formats. Also peruse "A Family Guide: What Families Should
Know About Adolescent Depression" put out by the National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI) at a link below.
often is linked to suppressed anger: Over a century ago Sigmund Freud noted
that depression often is associated with suppressing anger. There is some broad
support of this insight. Dr. Paul Meier of Meier Clinics once reported that approximately
15,000 Americans come in one week to the Minirth Meier Clincs for insight-oriented
therapy and of all the depression cases, he finds that 95% are depressed due to
repressed anger toward an abuser or toward oneself!
Affective Disorder (SAD), wintertime depression associated with too little light,
is more effectively treated by Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in terms of
preventing recurrences of depression than either full-spectrum light therapy or
a combination of the two according to a recent research study.
between sugar and the risk of both depression and schizophrenia: December
2009 research from a cross-cultural analysis of the relationship between diet
and psychological challenges by noted British psychiatric researcher Malcolm Peet
shows that sugar actually suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in the brain
called BDNF. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia.
of the Well...Into Wellness is a website offering support for those who are
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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