In 1969, at the age of 25, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time in three years. The first diagnosis, schizophrenia, paranoid type was followed by a second hospitalization and the diagnosis schizophrenia, chronic type. My treatments included electroshock, insulin comas and massive doses of medication. After I recovered from my “treatments” and began addressing the identity issues that had triggered my excursion into “madness,” I entered graduate school, earned my doctorate and became a licensed psychologist. I have worked in a state hospital, in private practice, been a consultant to schools and state agencies, taught graduate school courses in Community Mental Health and have been the executive director of a 7-county comprehensive mental health center.
Passionate about my volunteer advocacy work, I served as a two-term president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA). I have been an elected member of the American Psychological Association’s Expert Task Force on Serious Mental Illness. Working with 6 like minded colleagues, I was a co-founder of the International Network Towards Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR), which held its first meeting of alternative practitioners and psychiatric survivors in 2004. Currently I am chair of The Community Consortium, a non-profit organization created to promote the civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities, and to provide the tools to facilitate genuine community integration for people who use mental health services.
I have received the following Awards:
- Ed Roberts Award For Advocacy promoting Independent Living in the Community for Individuals with Disabilities
- Bill Johnson Award for Exemplary Support of the Mission of the National Association for Rights Protection & Advocacy
- Citation of the New York State Assembly for Advocacy of Individuals with Disabilities
- Sage Graduate School, Outstanding Faculty as voted by students 2005-2006
- American Psychological Association’s Presidential Citation, For Empowering Individuals with Mental Illness
After working in New York for 17 years, my wife and I moved to Boulder, Colorado, where on March 15, 2016 we celebrate 30 years of marriage. In Boulder I have a private psychotherapy practice and continue my commitment to rights advocacy as an Advisory Board member of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI). Always striving to keep my heart and mind open, I balance the serious with Tai Chi Ch’uan and a life-long love of sports – and especially for some unfathomable reason the Detroit Tigers – my favorite baseball team.