I can’t understand how I could fly to California without a job awaiting me. It would be foolhardy now. Yet I had some money and felt perfectly sure I’d be okay. And I was.
I started to work at Kaiser Permanente Psychology Research the day after I’d had my interview. Working for Helen and Tim Leary meant doing a variety of jobs: typing dittos (like mimeographs, only more primitive), packaging orders for Tim’s questionnaires and diagrams of how groups operate, (he’d written a well-received Social Psychology text book) and proofreading an index for a new book of his. Among other things which I’ve forgotten.
The office was tuned to a new project: Finding a numerical system to codify therapeutic interactions in psychotherapy. Tim was working with Dr. Merton Gill, formerly of Yale. Gill had sessions of therapy with one patient recorded. Once a system was set up, several of the people in the office would be listening to the recorded sessions and using the new system to evaluate it.
I should tell you now that it didn’t work. That’s why you haven’t heard of it.
Many long afternoons were spent on it. I wasn’t included as I’d told Helen and Tim I’d like to take May off and drive back home to Connecticut. I had purchased a used Ford and drove to work every day.
Soon after I began, Patricia joined the office. She and her roommate, Joan, soon became my good friends. They lived in academic Berkeley and I visited them often. I also had friends at the Blue Triangle Club where I lived. It was a women’s hotel run by the YWCA and I liked it. I’d get long telephone calls from my new Mexican friend at the Veterans’ Hospital. That went nowhere. Not only was he lin traction for a bad back by he was married.