Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated While Dr.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 But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.
Now in memoriam - This Site is No Longer Being Updated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. Weve removed some things that no longer
apply, though the curious reader can still read about what Wills therapeutic
approach was like. Articles, video, audio and resource links have been relocated
to the top, as Dr. Friedmans passion for updating these is much of the reason
this website will maintained. His family hopes you might find them helpful.
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 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.
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
"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
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
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
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.
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
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 existsthis invaluable present moment. The mind, body
and world are all undivided expressions of all-encompassing, seamless, non-separate
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
Older children (age 9 and older)
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)
/ Sensory awareness and experiencing
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
in the Good (Mind-body visualization and deepening)
Therapy, including reframing, practical distinctions and skill-building
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 area
True Self or transparent, authentic, liberated self.
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
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
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
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)
for Bands with Problems in Group Dynamics
including learned helplessness, lack of assertiveness, lack of knowing how to
set appropriate limits/boundaries, bullying/teasing and suppressed anger
and Adolescents oppositional-defiant behavior, enuresis (bed-wetting) and
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
management, including the learning of appropriate ways to express anger
and going to its root in powerlessness and helplessness
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 /
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]
including passive-aggressive behavior patterns and anti-life habit control issues
(e.g., smoking cessation)
forms of incomplete traumas, especially the re-enacting of unworkable survival
All forms of co-dependency,
inability or not knowing how to assertively stand up for oneself and set good
All forms of unworkable
perfectionism that gets in the way of work productivity and flowing/satisfying
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).
intervention, including spiritual crisis, recent trauma and loss/bereavement
patterns, including alcohol, street drugs, prescription medications, workaholism,
gambling, internet, relationship co-dependency and obsessive-compulsive behavior
Infertility issues for
including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
identity issues, including working with transgender people and people considering
testing and assessments, including ego functioning, fitness for duty, peace
officer re-evaluations, conservatorship, career aptitude, domestic and international