Not long after becoming an RN in 1968 it became clear to me that nursing was more about managing health problems than understanding how they got there or how to keep them from coming back. Years later we developed a wellness approach in health care. Spring of 1975 I was looking for a different career and happened to read an interview with Tom Budzynski, PhD in a local newspaper. He was just opening a clinic to help people get control of their own health by using a new approach called Biofeedback. He took my phone call and we talked about the wellness-oriented approach that biofeedback had to offer.
By the early spring of 1976 I had exhausted my interest in several career options. I remembered my conversation with Tom and felt excitement about a career in Biofeedback. His secretary told me they did not need my help and said I couldn’t speak with Tom. I was determined and wrote a note to Tom asking for a meeting and slipped it under the office door each day for several weeks until she phoned me and arranged my appointment to speak with him.
When we met, Tom asked what I wanted, and I told him that I was certain that Biofeedback was my career. He replied that he did not need any help and could not afford to hire me anyway. I told him he did not need to pay me if I could I just come and learn from him.
Tom hesitated and then told me his story:
He was working as an aerospace engineer at Honeywell in Southern California. He realized that he really wanted to be a clinical psychologist and so traveled to the nearby University (USC I believe) and applied to receive a graduate degree in psychology. He was turned away which in
those days was likely because he was not a resident of California. He persisted and traveled to sit outside the Dean’s office day after day until the Dean called him in. When the Dean asked Tom why he kept coming back even though he had been refused admission Tom said he knew this was the direction his career needed to take. The Dean considered Tom’s words and then said that he figured that anyone with that drive was surely going to be a great student and had found their right career path. Tom was accepted, went on to graduate and then on to a PhD at U of Colorado in Clinical Psychology. Tom became a pioneer in the field of Biofeedback and
created one of the first neurofeedback systems, the Twilight Learner.
Tom said he figured he “owed it back” and brought me into his clinic as a trainee. He was a wonderful mentor and teacher. Among the many things I learned was brain lateralization, subliminal learning, systematic desensitization and we did research on paranormal folks like
psychic healers and a fellow that bent coins!
The work we did with Biofeedback clients followed a “flow chart” he designed. It outlined the treatment goals for frontal, forearm, temperature and EDR levels. The session and overall training goals were defined. We had a framework and it worked well to help our patients.
This commitment to a definable goal for the training sessions influenced the way I worked with clients for the next 37 years. I developed my own training protocols thru study, observation and feedback from clients. This site is my gift to the profession I have loved so much. It offers what worked for hundreds and hundreds of patients and some precious bits of feedback I
gathered along the way in their own words.
That’s why I perused this website, I figure I owe it back too!