LET'S FACE IT, BIOS ARE BORING. They're tough to write because you walk a thin line between bragging and selling yourself short. Both are a problem.
Here's the most imporant thing you need to know: I love this profession and work constantly to hone my craft. I never took short cuts in either my education or my training. I continue that path of skill-building today. As a result, I stay sharp, confident, and my abilities continue to grow.
But that doesn't give you any of those hard facts you are probably looking for. So to know more, check out the video and bullet points below:
- Licensed Psychologist (PSY15781) in California since 1998
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC12981) in Texas since 1995
- Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy (#1072)
- Diplomate, American Psychotherapy Association (#10496)
- Health Service Provider in Psychology, National Register (#44702)
- UCLA Clinical Faculty (Cognitive Behavioral Clinic at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA)
- Ph.D., University of Houston in Counseling Psychology (APA Accredited)
- M.A., California State University, Northridge in Community-Clinical Psychology
- B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Internship in Professional Psychology -- The University of Texas at Austin (APA Accredited)
- Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology -- UCLA (APA Accredited)
- Summer Fellowship in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy at the Albert Ellis Intitute in NYC
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy which is interactive, goal-oriented, and scientifically supported.
- Other Services: Career & Personality Testing, Coaching/Consultation, and Lectures/Workshops.
- Services for Adult Men,Women, and Couples.
- Speciality treatment areas: Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Relationships, Sexuality issues, Addictions, Career/Goal achievement, and the concerns of Lesbians and Gay Men
- Office in West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area (near Cedars Sinai Hospital and the Beverly Center).
If you want to know more, go to "More About Me" under the FAQ section.
NOT A NEWBIE. Throughout my more than 15 years as a licensed psychologist in California, I have treated several hundreds of individuals and couples and exceeded the 10,000-hour mark doing therapy. (The "10,000 Hour-Rule" was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers" where he proposes that the secret to success is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of at least 10,000 hours.) Unlike a lot of therapists, I don't pad my experience with my training years. But if you want to know, before getting licensed as a psychologist, I had an additional ten years of training and a wide range of experiences along the way. I even qualified for and achieved a master's level license (Licensed Professional Counselor) in the state of Texas in 1995.
I GET RESULTS. Part of my secret to getting good results with my clients is that I continue to evaluate my work on an individual client basis and as a collective whole. I use checklists and surveys as well as other markers to help us both know if we are on the right track. In one self-study of 73 of my clients using the Symptom Survey-77, I was able to show an overall reduction at the end of therapy in every category being evaluated (Somatization, Depression, Alcohol Use, Anxiety, OCD Symptoms, Panic, Agoraphobia, and Trauma Symptoms).
YOU WILL KNOW IF YOU ARE GETTING RESULTS TOO. It's not a guessing game with me and I don't want it to be for you either. Today, I use the much shorter item DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Survey) to track individual clients at each visit and I discuss their progress at the beginning of each session. This information helps us both to know if therapy is on the right track. In addition, I give every client a personality test at the beginning of treatment because it will give us basic global indicators that will help us see if there are other things going on in the background than just their primary complaint. I also use this same personality test later in treatment as an additional means of demonstrating progress and the effectiveness of therapy. And, I give my clients feedback on all tests they take with me. I can't promise you'll get better, but I can promise you will know if you are and be able to change course more quickly if you aren't. Basically, I want you to get results too.
I DON'T JUST DO, I ALSO TEACH! I grew up hearing people put down educators as those who can't "do." Well I have found another secret to "do-ing" the best job possible is to continue to teach and to learn. I am priviledged to be a Clinical Instructor and supervisor at one of the best psychology post-doctoral fellowships in the country -- Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. There I teach and supervise psychology post-doctoral fellows and psychiatric residents in the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Clinic. I have also taught academic graduate and undergraduate psychology courses at various institutions from 1996 through 2010. Now I just stick with UCLA.
GIVING PSYCHOLOGY AWAY. I'm devoted to giving the science of psychology to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, this excludes my therapy services as I have to charge for them in order to give my clients my highest priority and to make a living! Rather, I use other means such as giving talks, writing, and appearing in the media to share wealth. I do a Q&A column for the LGBT community on ShoutOutHealth. And, my desire to turn psychobabble into something we can all understand has landed me appearances on The Tyra Banks Show, Extra, several news features, and as a regular contributor on KSEE-TV's Central Valley Today as well as an expert in three released documentaries (The Gift, The Butch Factor, and The Adonis Factor). You can check out some of my clips on my website and on YouTube of course. My handle on Twitter is "thoughtdoc" -- and I would be thrilled if you subscribed.
DID I MENTION I WANTED TO BE BOB NEWHART WHEN I GREW UP? It's true. (Here's something personal you probably didn't expect). I used to watch The Bob Newhart Show growing up and I knew I wanted to be a wise-cracking psychologist just like the main character, Dr. Robert Hartley. Ever the realists, my parents told me I must want to be a comedian -- that's what he really was. But, I could never see myself staring out into a smoke-filled room after my joke flopped, tapping a microphone and asking, "Is this thing on?" I now know I just recognized my career path early on -- I would even read my mother's psychology text books "for fun" while I was still in elementary school. But, my parents weren't altogether wrong. Humor did become a big part of my life as well. After growing up, I slowly came to realize the biggest influence on my becoming a psychologist was having a brother who is one year older with a severe developmental disability. There is no way for me to summarize the deep impact it had on me. Words seem inadequate. But, my hunger for understanding of why we are the way we are and my strong desire to help others have deeper, fuller, and more enriching lives is something that goes to my very core.
FYI - Here is one of my favorite pictures of my brother carrying the Special Olympics Torch. He has participated in the Special Olympics for years and it has always been one of his true joys. (And don't be thrown by the law enforcement officer, he is both assisting my brother in holding up the torch and trying to duck out the picture - very thoughtful).
Clinical Instructor for Fellowship in Clinical Psychology - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic at UCLA
Supervise Psychology Post-doctoral Fellows and Psychiatry Residents at Harbor-UCLA
Taught graduate-level Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Learning Theory at California Graduate Institute and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology from 1996-2010
Other Work History:
Director of Doctoral Training for Southern California Counseling Center in Los Angeles
Associate Director of Client Services for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)
Director of the Counseling Center at Woodbury University, Burbank, CA
Clinical Supervisor for Cognitive-Behavioral Intervetion Study for UCLA Center for Community Health
Expert in three documentaries: The Gift (2003), The Butch Factor (2009), and The Adonis Factor (2010)
Television appearances as expert on Extra, The Tyra Banks Show, Better, 1000 Ways to Die, etc.
Radio and print: NPR, KPFK, L.A. Times, Frontiers Magazine, HealthyPlace.com, ShoutOutHealth.com, etc.
American Psychological Association
California Psychological Association
Los Angeles County Psychological Association (former Board of Directors member)
Lesbian & Gay Psychotherapy Association (former Board of Directors member)
National Career Development Association
National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
American Psychotherapy Association
Association of Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies
Academy of Cognitive Therapy