M.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1985
Residency in Adult Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), 1989
Post-doctoral research fellow, psychotherapy process research, UCSF, 1989-1991
Board-certified in Psychiatry since 1991
Private outpatient practice since 1995
Medical Director of outpatient psychiatry for California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), 1996-2007
Former evaluator for the California State Bar "Lawyer Assistance Program"
Following residency, I completed a two-year research fellowship at UCSF. Our group studied psychotherapy in great detail, via videotapes and direct monitoring of physiology (heart rate, etc) of both parties during the sessions. My particular focus was the mind-body "flow state" that allows an empathic connection. This was something that had never before been studied using such technical methods (nonlinear dynamical modeling, an aspect of "chaos theory"). I authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and other publications, mostly in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
My career has always combined clinical practice and academia. After a few early years of inpatient and public-clinic work with more severely troubled patients, I opened an office-based private practice in 1995 that continues to this day. For ten years I also served as Medical Director of Outpatient Mental Health Services at California Pacific Medical Center: I oversaw a clinic where about 20 psychology interns and psychiatry residents serve low-fee patients. I left in 2007 to pursue private practice full-time, but I still teach and supervise CPMC trainees. See the next page for details about my current teaching and other professional activities.
My interactions with many hundreds of past patients have granted me a wide perspective. Thanks to them I know a bit about what it's like to work in a high-pressure ad agency, a high-stakes law firm, and a high-tech startup; what it's like to be unemployed, unwanted, and unengaged; the range of traditional and nontraditional romantic arrangements; the struggles of substance abuse and sobriety; the economics of healthcare in America.
Out of personal interest, I am also familiar, to a greater or lesser degree, with yoga, meditation, and other Eastern practices for mind-body balance and healing. In particular, I’ve been an avid student of Aikido for nearly 20 years, and hold a rank of ni-dan, or 2nd degree black belt. Aikido is a unique Japanese martial art that emphasizes conflict resolution and peaceful response to aggression, principles that subtly color my clinical work. While I identify with mainstream psychotherapy and Western medicine, I am open to other cultural frameworks — and to whatever is on your mind. I hope you'll feel comfortable sharing it with me.
From time to time my curiosity leads me to add other clinical pursuits to my regular practice. For several years I evaluated referrals from the California State Bar "Lawyer Assistance Program," a diversion program for attorneys with behavioral or substance abuse problems. I’ve dabbled in forensic (expert witness) work, and may do more in the future. And for the past two years I've volunteered with HealthRIGHT 360's "Rock Medicine" program, which provides medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse emergency care/triage at large public events. It's good to stay curious.
Photo: Frank Pryor www.frankpryor.com