I researched and developed this formula through a complex series of academic interests and career changes. Mathematics was my first love and deep interest allowing me a scholarship to university. Unable to play the usual sports at school with any competence allowed me to explore swimming and water polo. I became competent though not sufficiently competitive. It, however, allowed me to develop my social exposure at a healthy level. After high school. I joined IBM where I was exposed both to the new (1963) science of computers and also to relate at an international level. I chose to leave after three years and attend medical school because I wanted a basis of traditional professionalism. After medical school, I did not know where to go and tried my hand at psychiatry, neuropathology, neurosurgery, and finally family practice where I settled – for three years. My interests in research still haunted me, especially when I started to see an increasing number of people in the cosmopolitan center where I worked who were suffering both emotional and physical complaints due to the stresses of relocation, re-integration, new and unknown career and personal stresses. I started to examine these conditions and, through that, met Hans Selye of Montreal and Milton Erickson of Nebraska, both professors interested in the effect of stress on human emotions and physical health. I studied under them and redirected my practice to this area of need.
At first, I considered change as the main culprit in these disorders as relocation, re-integration, and new stresses have that in common. This encouraged me to add Chaos Theory to my list of interests, an exercise that came easily because of my mathematics background. As a result, I presented the initial conclusions regarding change and the human psyche at an international symposium in 1981 at the University of Pittsburgh, and its development one year later by invitation to the International Conference on Modelling and Simulation, University of Pittsburgh. I published a final dissertation in 1989 as the reference book, Understanding Change, referring to the individual’s capacity to adapt to change and survive both mentally and physically.
My attempts to reach the public and offer this direction took me into the area of interpersonal relationships as the concern that people wanted to manage. Once I started studying it, I realized that all of my academic, professional, and experiential development pointed me toward working with people to understand and manage that most volatile and imposing area of change that everyone has to encounter every day, the change represented by the voluminous thoughts of each other person in the world, those that impact us directly and those with an indirect impact either through other people or their ways of dealing with conditions they share with us.
As a result I retired my medical license. After all, I was no longer practicing medicine. I was honored to be allowed to retain emeritus status with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. I now enjoy this challenge of guiding people through the minefield of an area that has little precedent, no real research material, and yet impacting each of us in every area of our existence.