Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.


Articles by Dr. Friedman
Video and Audio Clips
Annotated Resource Links
Psychology Professionals

Dr. Will’s Perspective on Practicing Psychology:

Dr. Friedman's Practice
Dr. Friedman's Approach
Therapeutic Purposes
Credentials | Experience
Brochures | Interview
Events and Workshops

Website Disclaimer


Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom


Now in memoriam - This Site is No Longer Being Updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. We’ve removed some things that no longer apply, though the curious reader can still read about what Will’s therapeutic approach was like. Articles, video, audio and resource links have been relocated to the top, as Dr. Friedman’s passion for updating these is much of the reason this website will maintained. His family hopes you might find them helpful.

Love Letters and Day-Brighteners    See more comments | Leave a comment

Website Introduction
Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. provides a warm introduction and welcome to his professional website that offers a treasure trove of his highly practical articles and a remarkable set of annotated resource links.
The Remarkable Power of Intuition
Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. discusses common experiences of attuning to intution and notices the remarkable power that lies latent and often untapped inside.
What's in Your Backpack?
Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. uses the metaphor "What's in your backpack?" from the 2009 film "Up In the Air" to explore the meaning of life ...
Presence— Part 1 of 2
The extraordinarily ordinary realm of this present moment or Presence is evoked by psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. in an incredibly simple and profound experience the viewer has an opportunity to inhabit. Viewers can tap into time orientation by noticing what percentage of time do they show up in the past, present and future. Once a calibration is made by experiencing the present moment (a taste or free sample of enlightenment or illumination), the percentages tend to dramatically change, as you will see.
Witnessing— Part 1 of 2
Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. explores the realm of presence, and especially witnessing the mind from outside the mind to see what it is up to now. The natural and learnable abilities to inhabit the present moment (presence) and therein see the mind from outside it (witnessing) are seen as the most impactful ones anyone could develop to experience a happy, satisfying, fulfilling and contributive life. The metaphor of a fish cannot see itself in water, just as the mind cannot see itself, is offered. To see the water the fish must get out of the water, just as getting out of the mind is essential to see the mind. Possibilities galore ensue.

"Your articles are really fantastic! I've never seen a therapist's website with such substance and thought! I especially liked the article about Awareness and Presence. You've got a lot of really fascinating ideas and information on your site. Thank you for creating such a comprehensive site with such useful information! I truly appreciate it, and I'm sure others do as well."
      —Cimeron Morrissey, San Mateo, CA     

"Dr. Will Friedman is a voice of clarity and compassion. His strong, confident presence and his insightful perceptions are tremendous assets that cut through to the heart of our life issues. He is informative, skillful and knowledgeable and is a consummate professional. His pacing is calming and reassuring. As a fellow professional, I would not hesitate to refer friends, colleagues and clients to Will. I found his website very easy to navigate with many useful, pragmatic resources. His holistic and comprehensive approach is deep, practical, transformative and compassionate."
     —Michael S. Gelbart, LCSW, San Leandro, CA

I went on the website when you first invited me to have this conversation and looked at your little clips you have there and I was so impressed and just felt the exuberance of your surrender coming through. And I’m really happy that you’ve helped people in this particular way that you have. (...) I’d say what touches me the most about you, although you say wonderful things, is there is an exuberance. I love your laugh. It’s really great. (...) You’ve been wonderful. I really appreciate it. —Gangaji, Internationally renowned Nondual teacher / author [From an interview for a professional journal]

Outstanding resources on your site! I've been slaving away day and night trying to grasp after it all. I'm finally exhausted and giving up...maybe stillness will now ensue :) —Fran DiDomenicis, Ph.D., Psychologist, Walnut Creek, CA

I've gone through your website and I should say I've not come across such a content rich website in a long time. —G. S. Kesavan, Internet Marketing Consultant, Chennai, India

Working with Dr. Friedman will definitely boost your emotional, social, and transpersonal intelligence. I would also recommend viewing his most informative and well designed website. I appreciated the ease of navigating his website, the quality of the articles and the relevancy and usefulness of the innumerable links. Keep up this important work Dr. Will!!
     —Marc Berke, Ph.D., MFT, Danville, CA

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Exciting News!
The Annotated Resource Links have been completely restructured into a larger number of alphabetized categories, with accessible pull down menus displaying the specific resource subcategory you are interested in.
 Check it out.

More Exciting News!

Featured Articles

[For Therapists and non-therapists]

 Falling In Love With What Is Already Always Here And Free: An Interview With Nondual Teacher Gangaji 

Resonance: Welcoming You In Me � A Core Therapeutic Competency (In the Fall, 2012, Volume, Issue 3 of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology)

 Not-Knowing is a Well of Infinite Depth (In the May, 2012, Volume 4 of Paradoxica: Journal of Nondual Psychology, a peer-reviewed on-line professional journal - a 29 page PDF)
local copy

Touchstones: Timeless Parables Embracing All Traditions and Non-Traditions [Individual Column / Blog]

My Cup Overflows (In the Fall, 2012, Volume, Issue 3 of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology 

Immersed in a Sea of Zen Masters: An Adaptation in the tradition of Zen Buddhism (In the Spring, 2012, Volume 1,
Issue 2 of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology - a 3 page PDF)


True Psychology, Therapy and Healing--A Radical and Revolutionary Endeavor

A Beautiful Mind - Saying Goodbye To What Cannot Be True

It's Far Too Simple

Peeling the Onion--Uncovering Our Wounds in Therapy

Building Strong Internal Resources--A Key to Well Being

Healthhelp.net now carries a regular blog/article by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. along with an archive of all his blogs/articles.

Featured Annotated Resource Links
Sept, 2012 - Nov, 2012

Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions & Mindfulness Research

Presence / Not Being Present / Attention & Distraction Research

Practical Spirituality and Self-Compassion

January, 2013 - June, 2013

Stress Theories Approaches: "Tend-and-Befriend"--A new Stress paradigm for women Stress: Role of Television Viewing, Sitting All Day & Over-zealous Sports Fans Stress: Stress Reduction & Coping Approaches for Stress, Anger & Boredom

Stress: Stress Reduction & Coping Approaches for Stress, Anger & Boredom

Welcome | Therapeutic Approaches and Types of Clients | Health Insurance | Specialties Addressed in Therapy | Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

As a seasoned clinician with experience working with adults, couples, families, adolescents and older children since 1976, my aim is to understand your challenges and collaborate in setting an achievable vision in the present. Licensed as a psychologist in California since 1987, my major focus is Presence-centered therapy.

I perceive people as multi-faceted bio-psycho-social-spiritual Beings ever adapting and evolving in the only time that exists—this invaluable present moment. The mind, body and world are all undivided expressions of all-encompassing, seamless, non-separate Consciousness.

My practice stands on three key elements. First is inhabiting this present moment and watching the mind from outside it to see what it is up to now. Presence and witnessing help empower you to first see and then "buy out" of the mind's unworkable patterns.

Secondly, inquiry approaches (such as deconstructing beliefs and false identities) coupled with mind-body approaches (like EMDR, sensory awareness/focusing and taking in the good) greatly help desensitize root emotional charges associated with incomplete traumas and the survival decisions made that tend to drive unworkable emotional and behavioral patterns.

Third and core to this work is installing, building and developing strong internal resources that are immediately useable along with highly adaptive tools to better thrive in the world. Developing an enhanced capacity to hold, bear and tolerate strong emotions along with effective coping skills to powerfully assist this capacity are central to robust transformation.

My vision for our work is for clients to unlearn their learned limitations, have an emotionally satisfying and completing experience, and have the many positive, life-affirming outcomes of our work be sustaining. May this transformative work open you up to a full creative expression of who you truly are. Free the ego, and you are free. Pause without thinking; simply look and see for yourself.

  • Presence-centered therapy is a conscious attuning to the richness of this present moment (sometimes called mindfulness or wakefulness) along with witnessing, that is, observing what the mind is up to now by looking from outside of it.
  • Presence is all embracing, generously welcoming everything and everyone. Heartfelt gratitude and natural generosity beaming unconditional Love may well be the clearest indicators of aware Presence.
  • When you bring a purity of pro-life intention coupled with a whole-bodied attention, this naturally expresses itself in a rich, resonant and welcoming Presence, like a timeless infinite embrace of the entire world moment by moment. 

George Demont Otis     Lagunitas


Welcome | Therapeutic Approaches and Types of Clients | Health Insurance | Specialties Addressed in Therapy | Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

I do not do techniques in my Presence-Centered Therapy practice. The following approaches are drawn upon to help facilitate clients in their process of health, healing and wholeness.

Types of Clients:
  • Adults
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Adolescents
  • Older children
    (age 9 and older)
  • Therapeutic Approaches

  • Inquiry Approaches for deconstructing of core beliefs, false identities, unworkable behavior patterns, roles and stories (To deconstruct the ego-mind's claim to personal authority and authorship, and find it to be false)
  • Focusing / Sensory awareness and experiencing
  • Mind-Body Approaches, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and bilateral stimulation for clarification and processing of feeling/mood/emotional states, dreams, and building strong internal resources and increased capacities for strong emotional states
  • Taking in the Good (Mind-body visualization and deepening)
  • Cognitive Therapy, including reframing, practical distinctions and skill-building
  • Pre-natal / birth re-scripting
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Family Systems              
  • Imagery / Hypnosis
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Ego State Therapy
    Welcome | Therapeutic Approaches and Types of Clients | Health Insurance | Specialties Addressed in Therapy | Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

    Health Insurance

    I have not taken any form of health insurance since 2001 given my serious concerns with confidentiality, professional judgment, and self-responsibility. My commitment is to have nothing and no one between my clients and myself in regard to professional services offered and our therapeutic relationship. At the same time I regularly offer my clients receipts or superbills to submit to their insurance carriers to receive all the reimbursement their plan allows.

    My vision is for the people I see to receive more than they ever bargained for in our work and walk out of every session with one or more immediately useable tools, skills, abilities, distinctions, experiences or revelations that can make a noticeable, practical and sustainable difference in addressing their challenges, enhancing their quality of living, and helping realize and embody who they truly are—a True Self or transparent, authentic, liberated self.


    George Demont Otis     Lupine

    Business Consulting | Experience

    Business Consulting: Key personnel management, behavioral/competency interview assessments, targeted input/interventions, skill-building/strategy designing, conflict resolution, business romances, effective communication, building workable structures, functional leadership and team building

    Business Training: Communication, Stress Management/Wellness, Conflict Management, Leadership, Mindfulness/Presence, Emotional Intellegence

    Executive Coaching: Achieving Peak Performance, Managing Change/Conflict management, Listening Skills/Leadership, Transforming Performance Anxiety/Public Speaking

    MVP Seminars - Motivational & Inspirational Keynote Speakers Bureau

    Welcome | Therapeutic Approaches and Types of Clients | Health Insurance | Specialties Addressed in Therapy | Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

    Specialties Addressed in Therapy

  • All forms of anxiety, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, performance anxiety (e.g., test-taking, public speaking, athletes, actors and musicians) agoraphobia and extreme unrealistic fears or phobias
  • All forms of experiencing significant stress that often expresses as lowered immune functioning, poor self-care, sleep disturbances, lack of energy and interest, an inability to concentrate or make decisions as well as in physical maladies (including hypertension, stomach issues, stress-related headaches, skin disturbances, and elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol), including work-related stress, financial stress and relationship/family stress
  • All forms of relationship issues, including marital/couple challenges, mediation for divorcing couples, parent-adolescent issues, blended families, co-parenting and unworkable family dynamics (sibling rivalry, ineffective and mixed messages in communication, limit-setting and consequences)
  • Mediation for Bands with Problems in Group Dynamics
  • Depression, including learned helplessness, lack of assertiveness, lack of knowing how to set appropriate limits/boundaries, bullying/teasing and suppressed anger
  • Children and Adolescents oppositional-defiant behavior, enuresis (bed-wetting) and conduct issues
  • Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Adult "Failure To Launch", including lack of interest and/or inability to hold gainful employment, not taking adult responsibilities, isolating/withdrawing behavior patterns, and not developing friendships/relationships
  • Anger management, including the learning of appropriate ways to express anger and going to its root in powerlessness and helplessness
  • Death, loss, grief and bereavement, including practicing healthy feeling processing leading to slowly facing and coming to terms with realities and a sense of deepening acceptance and authentic completion over a wide variety of losses, such as a loved one facing a chronic disease, being in the process of dying, death of a loved one, loss of health, painful regrets, betrayal, abandonment, financial failures, loss of home / job / business, bankruptcy and victimization by crime / scams / fraud
  • Pre-marital counseling, including the identification of key individual/couple issues and dynamics, gaining highly practical tools, strategies and skills to resolve difficulties and enhance effective communication, develop workable agreements to avoid arguments about money and major decisions, and go to the root of core challenges and resolve them. [As uncommon as these services are requested, engaging in pre-marital counseling is most likely the very best investment you can make in your marriage and one of the best choices you can make for a happy, satisfying and fulfilling life]
  • Self-defeating behavior, including passive-aggressive behavior patterns and anti-life habit control issues (e.g., smoking cessation)
  • All forms of incomplete traumas, especially the re-enacting of unworkable survival decisions
  • All forms of co-dependency, inability or not knowing how to assertively stand up for oneself and set good limits
  • All forms of unworkable perfectionism that gets in the way of work productivity and flowing/satisfying relationships
  • Chronic, disabling diseases for the patient and their family members, including Lyme's disease, HIV+, cancer, heart disease, COPD, MS, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), lupus, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and chronic pain including complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS (used to be called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD). It is important to work in close conjunction and collaboration with your doctor(s).
  • Crisis intervention, including spiritual crisis, recent trauma and loss/bereavement
  • Addictive/self-medicating behavior patterns, including alcohol, street drugs, prescription medications, workaholism, gambling, internet, relationship co-dependency and obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • Infertility issues for couples
  • Dissociative challenges, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
  • Gender identity issues, including working with transgender people and people considering this decision
  • Psychological testing and assessments, including ego functioning, fitness for duty, peace officer re-evaluations, conservatorship, career aptitude, domestic and international adoptions
    Welcome | Therapeutic Approaches and Types of Clients | Health Insurance | Specialties Addressed in Therapy | Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

    Business Consulting, Training and Public Speaking

  • Business consulting, including key personnel management and how presence and psychological/emotional factors impact stock trading
  • Business Training Topics: Communication, Stress Management/Wellness, Conflict Management, Mindfulness/Presence.
  • Executive Coaching Topics: Achieving Peak Performance, Managing Change/Conflict Management, Listening Skills/ Leadership, Transforming Performance Anxiety/Public Speaking.
  • Keynote Topics: Listening Skills, Communication, Managing Change, Healthcare/Stress Management.
  • Public Speaking Topics: Mindfulness/Presence/Witnessing, Communication, Healthcare/Stress Management, Wellness/Health.

  • George Demont Otis     Spring Valley Lake

    © Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
    Site Designer: Karl A. Franzen | Javascript | Php


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