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Brief autobiography (7/29/2002)
I was born and raised in North Hollywood, California, 1941; my family was in the motion picture business. A very unspectacular student, I went to a community college for one year in order to become acceptable to U.C. Santa Barbara. I loved courses in philosophy and in literature, though I didn’t dare major in something so “impractical.” In graduate school I was pro-existentialism, anti-Freud, anti-psychology, and wrote a dissertation based on “self-deception” addressing these convictions. I came to CSUF in 1969 and soon developed an interest in the Character and Conflict course in Human Services, which nurtured my inclination to be pathologically self-disclosing. This led to a self-styled program of courses and supervised experiences in an effort to improve my competency as a philosopher with helping professions interests. In 1983 this direction was officially acknowledged with a joint appointment in Philosophy and Human Services. By then I found I had made a complete reversal in my views about psychoanalysis, having come to think of my orientation as existential-psychoanalytic. That means I believe we are free and tend to choose to repeat our silly pasts. Still suspecting I did not know anything, I studied for and passed an examination to become a Nationally Certified Counselor (1984). I also helped to form and then became a student in the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, completing five years of training in 1998 to become a practicing Research Psychoanalyst. In 1982, having survived the anxiety of acquiring and being responsible for a dog, Electra, I acquired a wife, Sandy, and three stepchildren (yielding, by now, four grandchildren), and a son, James. Sandy died in 1993. In 1997 I married Valerie, who says she stalked me. She took on quite a bit when she took on James and me. In Human Services I find group work very exciting. I also think of myself as a teacher who can bring to life and make credible the psychoanalytic orientation that I used to pick on. Still trying to prove that philosophers have something practical to offer, I have also been active in the developing profession of philosophical counseling, and serve on the board of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. I have been chair or head of the Human Services Department from time to time, was chair of the Department of Philosophy from 1973 to 1976, and am doing it again, 2000-2003. I was very active on the General Education Committee in the mid'70s and in 1999-2001. I plan on being involved with the Faculty Senate this next year, and, a year or so after that, expect to take an early retirement so that I can actually work on a book on existential psychoanalysis and unconscious choices.