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 a selection of 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 staffs of the Mayo Clinic Rochester and Mayo Clinic Jacksonville for a total of 37 years until retiring at the end of 2004. Since then I was an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and then a Visiting Professor for 2 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 that 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, all forms of 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 with more emphasis on 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 also am very proud to have been on the Mayo Clinic staffs, 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 am endeavoring to attain additional gratification by writing other books such as health care metaphors.

I am the father of 4 biological children and 2 step children, grandfather of 10, great-grandfather of 1, and a husband for the third time. There has been and still 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 6000 to 11,000 miles and I truly enjoyed it. Quality time with my grandchildren is very valuable to me and all too limited. I used to invest 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 to also 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 knew many high ranking Israelis then during my years as an active lecturer on 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 with the ostensible 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 have viewed myself as a moderate Republican although often very distressed with right-wing conservatives, and often understanding and agreeing with positions of moderate Democrats and rarely even left-wing liberals. I think that 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 gained perspective although I remain and will remain “right of center.” We have no problems associated from our vastly contrasting sociopolitical views and I often enjoy the interactions.

 

I know that much of the information above leaves out considerable history, explanations, and perspectives. Much of this is being written into a book for my grandchildren and children contained in another section of this website. 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 include here mention of 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 Milman 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) all are 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 4 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 and experience, and roles in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, biofeedback therapy, psychological assessment, neuropsychology, sex therapy, behavior therapy.

 

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

 

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

 

Three trips to Israel between 1974 to 1980, meeting many prominent Israelis there and hosting several in my home in Rochester during those years, including Ehud Olmert, who later became the current 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.