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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated


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Therapist Resources, Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors, Emotional States Processing

Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing

Therapist Resources

Resources 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.

Ethical 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.

Help identify the signals for violence to protect the safety of doctors, clinicians, nurses and hospital workers through a July 2010 article in Psychiatric Times
 Psychologists can register at the APA psycLINK, the Practice Wiki and a new APA product "by psychologists, for psychologists," that will help cut the time it takes practitioners to find quality information. It is part search engine, part bulletin board, part social networking website, and an interactive, online pilot project that enables clinicians to search for, share and discuss articles, websites and other resources.

TherapistExchange.com 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.

Importantly, 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."

A 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.

The 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 Recovery—Also 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.

Psychotherapy.net 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.

Happiest 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."

 Please 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.

Article "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 issue.

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

The 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 her—often uninvited—advise 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 nor recommended.

Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing

Mind-Body Medicine / Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) Resources

ind/Body Medicine: Useful articles

A 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 professionals.

Diaphragmatic / Abdominal Breathing

Healthy diaphragmatic (or abdominal) breathing—Deep 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 posture—Office 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 and well-being


Stretches / Exercises for the Low-Back

Low-back stretches and exercises can aid feeling well and preventatively staying well with your body—Before 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.


Top 10 Tips for Treating Back pain

Therapists Resources | Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors | Emotional States Processing

Emotional / Social / Behavioral / Strange Contagion

Research on 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 us—the 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.

Behavioral 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

Healthy and unhealthy anger expression / transformation—Relaxation, 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 you.

A 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.

Type 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 on Wikipedia.

Fear: Reactive or Responsive

Research on fear—reactive 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 snake—and trigger an immediate fear response—while 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 brain’s 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 responses—even 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.

Adulthood anxiety linked to youth's stomach aches—A 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.


Anxiety, Fears and Panic: Useful articles

New 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 shallowly.

Writing 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."

Conquering 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.

Shyness, Introversion and Social Anxiety—Natural contemplative cautiousness? evolutionary tactic? Or psychological disorder?


Depression: drnoahoderberg.com/articles01dep.html

Depression: 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.

Depression 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!

Seasonal 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.

Links 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.

Out of the Well...Into Wellness is a website offering support for those who are experiencing depression


George Demont Otis         Path Through the Trees

© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

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