About Me

Welcome to my website!

Nearly fifty years ago, I was an undergraduate at Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vermont, participating in encounter groups, beginning to study brain structure and function, and trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go in.  The United States had a growing economy but had blundered into the Viet Nam War, which split the country, segregation was the practice, if not the law, of the land, people were experimenting with drugs and eastern spiritual practices, often without knowing what they were doing, and the human potential movement was ascending.  I met people in personal growth or therapy groups who were in some ways brilliant and beautiful but in other ways stuck, often in psychological prisons of their own making.  Within us there was a core of something precious that could grow, but it was often muffled and confused by events, habits and beliefs.  Gradually I began to ask:  Why do we seem to be different people at different times, or in different relationships?  How is it that whatever we’re doing makes sense at the time, but looking back at it we may see that we didn’t really know what we were doing.  How is it that we seem to miss opportunities, in our inner and outer lives, or act in ways that undermine ourselves, sometimes over and over?  How can we hold different values or beliefs at the same time, when they may contradict each other?

These questions led me to the study of western and eastern psychologies, and to recognize that awareness is the key to finding ways of being with ourselves and others that are more in harmony with who we are and what we need.  In the west, psychotherapy is one of the main practices that we’ve evolved to cultivate awareness.  Among other things, psychotherapy creates a space in which we can reflect; on who we are, on what’s happening in our lives, and on how we might want to change that.  In neuropsychological terms, the neural networks or our personality become clearer to our executive functions through the awareness that therapeutic relationship cultivates, and that makes change possible.  I think that psychotherapy is one of the most meaningful practices and forms of relationship that we can engage in, and doing psychotherapy is a big part of the meaning of my life.  I also like to provide consultation for colleagues who want to work with me in order to refine their therapeutic perceptions and skills.

Psychological and neuropsychological evaluation is a second specialization in my practice.   I try to do a thorough job, and parents of an adolescent whom I recently evaluated were told by staff at the child’s school that my evaluation was the most thorough that they had ever seen; and they’ve seen a lot.  I’ve had the opportunity to read hundreds of psychological and neuropsychological evaluations in mental health and educational situations in which I had to make decisions, or advise others about decisions that they had to make, based partly on those evaluations.  So I’ve learned a lot about what makes an evaluation useful.  In addition to my own evaluation work, I find satisfaction in sharing that knowledge with colleagues who consult with me about their evaluation practices.

In addition to my psychotherapy and evaluation practice, I enjoy providing personal and career coaching and consultation, both in my office and online.  I also enjoy providing consultation to organizations and legal consultation, and I enjoy speaking to groups about various topics that I’m interested in.  So I invite readers who might be interested in any of these kinds of relationship to send an email to jay@psychatlarge.com,  or a text or call me at 847-212-3259, and start a conversation.