About Me and the Journey that Created Who I Am

I intend this brief version of "About Me" for most people who log onto this website. Longer versions are available.

This abbreviated version contains selected facts, including professional positions, accomplishments, and a few personal historical facts intended to put a little color into this description.


As a Clinical Psychologist, I was on the Mayo Clinic Rochester and Mayo Clinic Jacksonville staff for 37 years until retiring at the end of 2004. Since then, I have been an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and then a Visiting Professor for two years at the University of North Florida. I enjoyed being associated with the UNF and enjoyed the learning, teaching, faculty, and students.


I still see patients in my solo private practice, which allows me to continue the gratifications associated with providing varied clinical psychological services, and I also benefit from the challenges. My specialty services include consultations, evaluations, stress management, applied psychophysiology, behavior therapies, and eclectic psychotherapy.


The types of problems for which I specialize include anxiety disorders, anger management, most types of stress, most types of psychophysiological conditions, mild to moderate depression, some sexual dysfunctions, somatic symptom disorders and illness anxiety disorder, existential problems, insomnia, some relationship problems, and adjustment disorders.


My professional theoretical orientation has been eclectic, emphasizing behavior and cognitive therapies. I have certifications as a biofeedback therapist, sex therapist, and psychological assessment specialist. See Clinical Private Practice for more details.


My most cherished professional accomplishments include authoring and now co-editing the book Biofeedback: A Practitioner’s Guide in its 4th Edition. Of course, I am also very proud to have been on the Mayo Clinic staff, to have introduced and developed the early years of behavior therapies starting in 1970 and biofeedback starting about 1973 at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, to have been Chair of the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America during its first years starting (1981-1984), being on the Board and Speaker of the General Assembly of the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies 1983-1985, and President of the Biofeedback Society of America (now the AAPB) 1987-1988. I aim to attain additional gratification by writing other books, such as Healthcare Care Metaphors.


I am the father of 4 biological children and two stepchildren, a grandfather of 10, a great-grandfather of 1, and a husband for the third time. There has been and remains considerable and unequaled joy, satisfaction, pain, sorrow, regrets, and appreciation in these roles and experiences. I invest much time and greatly enjoy landscaping my property. Admittedly, I also used to enjoy digging large holes around my home for various reasons, but these are all filled in, and the only holes dug are for new plantings.


Traveling to see my children and grandchildren for the past few years has usually involved driving a huge SUV 6,000 to 11,000 miles, and I truly enjoyed it. Quality time with my grandchildren is very valuable to me and all too limited. I spent much time teaching at UNF, writing, occasionally reviewing manuscripts for journals, and preparing presentations. 


I live in Jacksonville with my beloved wife, Nancy, to whom I have been devoted since 1988.


I survived, with no severe disabilities, polio at age 8, bladder cancer at age 59, quintuple coronary bypass graft surgery, and a heart attack 3 weeks later at age 63. I have been blessed with great medical care all my life and am very grateful to my wife, Nancy for saving my life twice by calling 911 despite my protestations.


As somewhat of a balance for the above, I want readers also to know that I captained a twin-engine inboard/outboard cabin cruiser for a few years in the 1990s. I also traveled to Israel multiple times between 1974 to 1980, again in 2015, and met many high-ranking Israelis during my years as an active lecturer in the Middle East. I was a downhill skiing enthusiast for several years in my 40s. And I have been known to put on a clown nose many times and give out clown noses to grandchildren and others. And, again, I dig large holes in my yard -- sometimes for the apparent reason that I am digging up tree roots and Palmetto bushes. Sometimes, during the digging and alone, I have smiled and even laughed when thinking metaphorically about the digging.


For decades, I viewed myself as a moderate Republican, always very distressed with right-wing ultra-conservatives and often understanding and agreeing with selected positions of moderate Democrats. This political hybrid persona is very unusual for a Jewish psychologist. My wife has been and still strongly favors very liberal Democratic politics, and from this, I have sometimes gained perspective, although I remained slightly “right of center.” We have no problems with our contrasting sociopolitical views, and I often enjoy the interactions. I can’t say the same for her.


A few years ago, I withdrew entirely from the Republican Party because of the number and influence of right-wing extremists, the dangerous pathology and distortions of some Republican politicians and supporters, and the election of Trump and all his subsequent behaviors. There was no way that I could associate myself with those people's beliefs and behaviors.


I also rejected the extreme left, which excessively impacted the Democratic Party. So here I am, an “Independent” struggling in some elections with the “lessor of two ‘evils’” or “’ evil’ of two lessors.”


Much of the above information leaves out considerable history, explanations, and perspectives. Much of this is written into a book for my grandchildren and children in another website section. Some of this is contained in a longer version of the About Me in development and available (via password) via the following link: About Me – Details.


As a prelude to the more detailed version in the Family section, I mention important people and aspects of my life. I do so in this fashion to provide additional glimpses about me.


I discuss and reminisce about my parents: my mother, the late Pearl Mihlman Taylor Schwartz; my biological father, the late Harry Taylor, who died when I was a young child; the Taylor family; and my adoptive father, the late Sol Schwartz, and his family.


My biological children, Angela, Ian, Cindy, and David, and my step-sons Shane and Jesse (Nancy’s sons) are all in my thoughts every day, as are all the grandchildren, Michaela, Sara, Toni, Spencer, Ryder, Ella, Isaac, Beckett, Mirabel, and great-grandson Braiden. All are very special to me. I might even discuss my prior marriages. After all, they gave me four wonderful children, some regrets, but increased perspectives on people and life.


Many colleagues who are/were psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and others touched and grappled with my career and life in many ways, and a few times helped me recover from dips.


In the detailed version, I will discuss my Graduate School years at the U of Texas, working with famous social & personality Psychologist Donn Byrne, Ph.D., and my years at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL where I was Chair of Psychology until the year I retired. I will discuss my professional credentials, experience, and roles in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, biofeedback therapy, psychological assessment, neuropsychology, sex therapy, and behavior therapy.


I will discuss being a sports car driver for 20 years and a huge SUV driver for several years. There will be reflections about being a polio survivor, bladder cancer survivor, quintuple coronary artery bypass graft survivor, heart attack survivor, and double coronary stent survivor.


I will discuss surviving and learning to love Minnesota winters for 21 years and Florida summers.


I made three trips to Israel between 1974 and 1980. I met many prominent Israelis there and hosted several in my home in Rochester during those years, including Ehud Olmert, who later became the Prime Minister.


My favorite song in my adult life has been “My Way,” made famous by Frank Sinatra. “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but too few to mention” is one of the many phrases in that song that fits my view of my life.


Taken all together, the above is more, perhaps much more than most visitors to this website want to know about me. I make no apology for that. If you got this far, you kept reading it.

(Updated slightly 10/13/23)