A Guide to Psychology and its 
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PSYCHOLOGY is often described in textbooks as “the science of behavior.” Clinical psychology, which tries to solve the problems and symptoms individuals encounter because of their behavior, is in part a science; but in its study of the mind—especially the unconscious—it often moves away from pure science and becomes a philosophy and an art. The unconscious, after all, is, well, unconscious and therefore unknown to conscious reason and scientific research, so it has to be encountered through language and dreams.

Is a psychotherapist just a “paid friend” 
or an “emotional prostitute”?

This website, A Guide to Psychology and its Practice, is written in a straight-forward, plain, conversational English that anyone should be able to understand. Moreover, for the sake of truth, there is no advertising on this website. You will find here three different “kinds” of information:


First, for many issues I give an overview written from the perspective of my own experience.


Second, I refer you to Additional Resources on the Internet that provide additional information about the topics I discuss. I have selected non-profit sites that, in general, do not try to sell you anything: professional organizations, foundations, national support organizations, etc. Through these sources you should be able to find the type of help you desire.

Finally, I have provided self-help information that you can use, free and without professional help, to learn relaxation techniques such as autogenics and progressive muscle relaxation, overcome simple phobias (such as fear of flying) with systematic desensitization, and stop smoking.

Altogether, these pages provide an effective guide to the practice of clinical psychology. If you are a student looking for information about sensation, perception, learning theory, and so on, you should read a basic textbook on the principles of general psychology.

Perhaps you are wondering, “Who made this website?” All the writing on this website, and the layout, graphics, and programming, are my own original work.

And please note that I do not allow advertising on this website, nor do I have a sponsor trying to sell you something.

Therefore, if you find that my work has been informative and helpful, perhaps you will realize that a small freewill donation is truly affordable to most persons in industrialized countries, and that it will help to offset my costs in making this website available without charge and without advertising to everyone—especially those in great financial need.

In all of this, my goal is simply to help you realize that although life can be painful, unfair, and brutal, it doesn’t have to be misery.

Don’t get me wrong—I fully appreciate the ecstasy of spiritual experience, and I am something of a mystic at heart. Yet I have learned from experience that the practice of good clinical psychology involves something—call it comfort—which does not mean sympathy or soothing, and it certainly doesn’t mean to have your pain “taken away.” It really means to be urged on to take up the cup of your destiny with courage and honesty.

I have a background in literature, theology, and art, and came to study psychology as a middle-adulthood career change. On this website, I speak about values such as compassion and forgiveness not for religious reasons but simply because they are good, common-sense ways to true and lasting mental health. It’s that simple.

But the task of teaching the general public the difference between happiness and mental health has all the satisfaction of trying to fill a sieve with water. And yet, to paraphrase Saint Francis of Assisi, if we accept the world’s injustice, cruelty, and contempt with patience, without being ruffled, and without murmuring, then we have found the path to perfect joy—and we do our work anyway.

So, as much as we all yearn for peace on earth, we won’t get it through laws, by protest or by war. We will have peace only by setting aside our psychological defenses and learning to treat others with honesty and forgiveness. May it all begin in your own heart.


Dr. Raymond Lloyd Richmond
San Francisco


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No advertising—no sponsor—just the simple truth . . .

If this website has helped you, then
please help support this website


FOR THE SAKE OF TRUTH this website about the practice of Clinical Psychology does not accept any advertising.

If my work has been informative and helpful, please send a donation in appreciation, even if it’s only a few dollars, to help offset my costs in making this website available to everyone without advertising.

Gratitude is joy to the heart!


Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
San Francisco
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Psychology is a complex subject, and many issues are interrelated. And so, even though you may find a topic of interest on one particular page, an exploration of the other pages will deepen your understanding of the human mind and heart.

Psychological Practice
To Become a Psychologist
Choosing a Psychologist
Consumer Rights and Office Policies
Honesty in Psychological Treatment
Legal Issues
The Limits of Psychology
Managed Care and Insurance
Other Applications of Psychology
Psychology: Clinical and Counseling
Psychology and Psychiatry
Questions and Answers about

Termination of Psychotherapy
Types of Psychological Treatment
Clinical Issues
Becoming a Nonsmoker
Depression and Suicide
Diagnosis in Clinical Psychology
Dream Interpretation
Fear of Flying: Information
Hypnosis and “Negative” Hypnosis
Medical Factors Affecting Psychology
Medication Issues
Psychological Testing
Questions and Answers about

Reasons to Consult a Psychologist
Repressed Memories
The Psychology of “Stress”
Trauma and PTSD
Types of Psychological Treatment
The Unconscious
Social Issues
Adolescent Violence
Family Therapy
The Psychology of Terrorism
Sexuality and Love
Spirituality and Psychology
Spiritual Healing
Personality and Identity
Death—and the Seduction of Despair
Identity and Loneliness
Sexuality and Love
Trauma—and PTSD
Stress Management
Autogenics Training
Hypnosis and “Negative” Hypnosis
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
The Psychology of “Stress”
Systematic Desensitization
Fear of Flying
Aviation Links
Basic Principles of Aircraft Flight
Fear of Flying: Information
Fear of Flying: Treatment
Hypnosis and “Negative” Hypnosis
Systematic Desensitization
Autogenics Training
Becoming a Nonsmoker
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Questions and Answers about

Systematic Desensitization
Trauma Support Groups
Personal Information
Consultation Information
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Education and Affiliations
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Privacy Policy of this Website



Throughout this website, my goal is simply to help you realize that although life can be painful, unfair, and brutal, it doesn’t have to be misery.
The practice of good clinical psychology involves something—call it comfort—which does not mean sympathy or soothing, and it certainly doesn’t mean to have your pain “taken away.” It really means to be urged on to take up the cup of your destiny, with courage and honesty.



A Guide to Psychology and its Practice



Copyright © 1997-2015 Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
San Francisco


All material on this website is copyrighted. You may copy or print selections for your private, personal use only.
Any other reproduction or distribution without my permission is prohibited.



No advertising and no sponsor—just the simple truth.