I am a psychologist and an author. Many of my books are written about popular topics in psychology such as the study of dreams and coping with stress, areas where I published much original research. In addition to writing books about psychological topics, I enjoy writing novels.
I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book, "Exploring our Dreams: The Science and the Potential for Self-Discovery." It was published in April, 2018 by Exposit Books, a new imprint of McFarland. You can find it in a paperback edition and is available as an ebook as well. As was true for my much earlier book on dreams, "The Psychology of Dreams," the new book is science based, drawing on research from psychology and neuroscience. Like the earlier book, "Exploring our Dreams" is written for a general audience. I wrote the book in a conversational style, much of it in question and answer format. A recent review by Choice confirms that I succeeded in my intention. In recommending the book to readers interested in dreams, Choice wrote that it was "written in an easy to read, conversational tone", and was "easily accessible to the general reader."
A great deal has been discovered about the nature of dreaming since my earlier book was published and readers interested in dreams will find an up-to-date picture of what we mow know about dreams in "Exploring our Dreams." Want to know about dreaming in color, the activation of the brain during dreaming, the dreams of children, gender differences in dream content, treatment for chronic nightmares--and is there evidence for Freud's sexual theory of dream symbols? You'll find it discussed here. The book includes an extended discussion and appraisal of different methods of dream analysis, from Freud's psychoanalytic approach to more current ideas.
If you have ever wondered about your dreams and what they might mean, this book can help you better understand both what science has informed us about the nature of dreaming and the much murkier area in which people have developed approaches to glean understanding from their dreams.
A few words about my most recent novel, something about me, and a quick look at some of my other books that you might like to know about.
My latest novel,"Look into the Past, Mercedes, if you Dare!" is a story about the unraveling of long hidden family secrets with profound consequences for the central characters, Mercedes and her boyfriend, Mark. There's romance and suspense aplenty. If, in your reading, you like to embark on a chain of discoveries, something in the manner of a mystery novel, you'll like this. And I'm happy to assure you that the ending will please all lovers of romantic suspense novels.
Something about myself. I grew up in Washington, D. C. at a time in which there streetcars rolling along the streets rather than subways under them. The city was still segregated. We lived in a row house in a quiet part of the city. And some of todays' problems such as drugs and shootings were unimaginable. When I was a teenager, I became very interested in astronomy. I constructed a large reflecting telescope, grinding and polishing the mirror in my basement. Although I did some scientific research (variable star observations), mostly I just delighted in the beauty of what I could see. You can imagine the thrill of a youngster feasting upon the glories of the cosmos.
I went to college at the University of Chicago, which at the time had a Great Books curriculum and then to Columbia University for graduate work, taking a Ph.D in psychology.
When I arrived in New York City I was 19 years old and alone. I rented a room near the university and while not recognizing it at the time, I embarked on my own "coming of age" story. I shared apartments on the west side of Manhattan, lived for a while in a cold water flat (rent $22 a month) in Little Italy, and eventually settled in Greenwich Village where I met people interested in the arts and theater.
During my years at Columbia, I made life-long friends, experienced love and loss, saw new plays on Broadway, and experienced the wonders of the city as I completed my education. When I left the city, I took away a store of memories which filtered their way into my novel "A Time to Remember."
My first professional jobs were as a research psychologist working on studies at the National Institute of Mental Health, at the Public Health Service in downtown Washington, D. C. and directing a large research project for the University of California and the State Health Department at Berkeley, California. When I left Berkeley, I returned to Washington, D. C. for a long stint at the Department of Psychiatry at the George Washington School of Medicine where I published many technical papers in psychological journals on such topics as dreams, coping behaviors, and depression.
After I left George Washington University, I began my own private practice of psychotherapy which lasted about 20 years.. I worked mainly with people who had interpersonal difficulties (often with a romantic partner) or were experiencing depression. When I started my practice I spent some time as a consultant to the heroin treatment ward at the Washington D. C. V. A. hospital.
My career as a writer began when I found that I had an ability to translate what we know about psychology into readable, non-technical English. I started writing books for general readers on psychological topics, beginning with "The Psychology of Dreams," and followed this with many titles such as "Understanding Depression," "Coping with Stress," "Adolescent Suicide," "Romantic Relationships,"and "Anorexia and Bulimia."
I am very pleased that many of my books were well thought of by reviewers. A few examples. Science Books and Films gave its highest ratings to "Anorexia and Bulimia" and "Understanding Depression" was recommended by The Book Report, and called "very helpful" by Choice. Choice called "Romantic Relationships," "An excellent book,universally relevant, well written, resourceful, well documented, and entertaining. It deserves widespread distribution." Choice placed the book on its list of outstanding books of the year.
From the score of books I have written over the years, I would like to highlight some of my favorites and talk a bit about how I came to write them. My first full length non-fiction book, "The Psychology of Dreams" has always been one of my favorites. Dreams are a fascinating topic. Can they really tell us useful things about ourselves? This question must have been in the back of my mind when I began my research on dreams. While I was working at the George Washington University School of Medicine, I carried out a series of studies on dreams and was particularly interested in trying to modify Freud's method of free association to dreams to make it more objective. I developed a procedure for dream analysis called "The Dream Incident Technique" and published a number of tecnical papers using the procedure with very interesting results. My interest in dreams led to a desire to write a serious but readable book about dreams for a general audience--one that was non-technical in language, but nonetheless, well documented by research. The resulting book,"The Psychology of Dreams," was well received and I am very excited by the publication of my new book , "Exploring our Dreams."
I would like to describe two more of my nonfiction books which may be particularly helpful to people. These are "Romantic Relationships," and "Coping with Stress,"
During my years of being a therapist, I encountered many men and women who were struggling with romantic relationships. They couldn't connect with a person of the opposite sex, or when they did, they couldn't sustain the relationship. I began to look through the research carried out on relationships to see what we had learned over the years, and I was impresssed by the wealth of information that was available.
So, I decided to write a book based on this research and on my own clinical experience. I used a quesion and answer format. As I mentioned, the resulting book, "Romantic Relationships" received really excellent reviews.
Almost everybody experiences stress and for many of us, stress can be a very big problem. "Coping with Stress:Commonsense Strategies" is a very readable book that presents a cafeteria of techniques for coping with stress--techniques that research suggests are useful. Readers may find ideas here that could prove very helpful in more effectively dealing with the stress in their lives..
My Historical Novels
"Medieval Summer," which is set in France and Flanders about the time of Richard the Lion-hearted was the result of a happy accident. I have always had a strong interest in history. When I lived in Washington, D. C., I was planning on doing some scholarly work looking at historical data through the lens of psychological analysis. Living near the Library of Congress, I spent some time looking through the centuries-old reports that supervisory clergy had writtten after visiting medieval monasteries. These records provided fascinating glimpses of daily life in these late medieval communities. However, instead of embarking on a project of scholarly work, I found my imagination stimulated by these glimpses of the past, and I began to develop the outlines of a story of high adventure which resulted in the novel "Medieval Summer" (click selected works for details). I am pleased to say that the book is now back in print.
"A Time to Remember," my own favorite of my novels and that of readers as well is a love story set in the years of the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II. I think the genesis of the novel lies in some of those wonderful films of the 1930s and 1940s, particularly those which portrayed idealistic young heroes, played by such actors as Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. In any event, I began to develop a story idea about a young writer, Jack Jarrels, who while wandering through the heartland of America searching for story material, encounters a talented young painter, Alice Burke. Alice's aspirations have been stifled by the claustrophobic atmosphere of the small town in which she lives. The story tells of their developing love which carries them to the artistic life of New York's Greenwich Village. Here, their careers prosper. When war breaks out in Europe, Jack, now, with a reputation as an anti-fascist crusader, is asked to serve as a foreign correspondent. He is caught in the Nazi invasion of France and while trying to escape becomes a participant in the raging hell of the evacuation of British soldiers from Dunkirk. I hope readers will enjoy this love story set in these turbulent times--years in which America faced existential threats.
Here is an excerpt from the back cover of my first mystery novel,"Unfinished Symphony, Unsolved Murders."
"Syndicated columnist, Harry Ellison, who lives with Sergeant Debbie Simmons of the Washington, D. C. Metropolitan Police Department, has a penchant for becoming involved in unusual murder mysteries. But, the case that begins with a telephone call from his niece, Stephanie, a doctoral student in music, may be the most bizzare case of all. Recently returned from Vienna where she was doing research on her doctoral dissertaion on Franz Schubert, Stephanie finds herself stalked by a person unknown, while working in the library of congress. The person leaves her fragments of musical notation that appear to be the missing part of an unfinished Schubert composition. The music is unmistakably Schubert's in style, but is it authentic or the opening gambit in an elaborate scam? And, how do these musical fragments relate to the unexplained deaths of three renowned Schubert scholars? When Harry and Debbie begin their investigation, they encounter deception, danger, and ultimately must match wits with a diabolical killer."
One may wonder how a psychologist ended up coauthoring a series of books for children in elementary and junior high school, teaching the fundamentals of math and how to apply this knowledge to solving those often troubling word problems. The answer lies in my meeting Sharon Hauge, a talented math professor at a party in Washington, D. C. and beginning a life-long romance with her. We produced a collection of three books, all beginning with the title "Word Problems," published by Walch Education, which have been used successfully in the schools for many years. While the books have been very helpful for students in learning math, the most important thing for me was meeting Sharon.
I enjoy getting to know people who like books. I can be reached on Facebook.