Interview with Pamela Bradley, PhD, MIM Psychologist, University of California at Berkeley
Many students have now had the exposure to one of AIM’s newest faculty member, Dr. Pamela Bradley, through discussion of the ongoing Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) research at the Academy, or by attending her seminar on understanding personality through the California Psychological Inventory (CPI). In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the person behind the research and get interesting insight on how Dr. Bradley incorporates her training in the Intuition Medicine® program to compliment her clinical research, teaching, and practice.
As Dr. Bradley explains, her research and consulting work requires focus within two distinct and almost diametrically opposed branches of psychology. One involves psychometrics, the quantitative side of psychology, while the other is more clinical and humanistic, consulting with clients and interviewing research subjects. “I am both a devoted scholar of the psychodynamic theories of C. G. Jung (the MBTI is based on Jung’s theory of psychological types), and a psychometrician...a most unusual combination within mainstream academic psychology,” she admits.
Psychometricians use statistics and quantitative methodology to develop intelligence, personality, and vocational tests, and to organize and analyze research data. As a researcher who develops psychological assessment instruments, Dr. Bradley relies on psychometric principles to insure the objectivity and validity of her work. In 1996 she co-authored a major revision of the CPI to streamline the instrument and bring it up-to-date. She is currently working on a shorter version of the CPI that is less clinical in orientation and better suited for business and organizational settings.
At the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Bradley switches from working with statistics to working with people, doing one-on-one clinically oriented interviews with her research subjects at the Institute of Human Development (IHD). It is this branch of her work where she really utilizes and integrates her training in Intuition Medicine® with her work as a psychologist.
She is pleased to discuss her unique appointment as a Research Psychologist at one of UC Berkeley’s oldest research units. The general objective of the Institute is the study of the human person, as an individual and as a member of society, from a developmental perspective, over the entire life span. Dr. Bradley works with a project called the Intergenerational Studies, which is the oldest longitudinal assessment of persons known in the world. Her subjects were born in the 1920s and have been studied extensively at IHD throughout their entire lives. As children and adolescents, they were seen for assessment about once a week. As adults they have been assessed once every ten years. In the current program of assessment, Dr. Bradley is interviewing the 200 remaining subjects who are now 80 years of age.
For each interview, Dr. Bradley arranges to arrive at the residence of the person wherever they may be living today. She goes into the meeting “blind,” not reviewing any details of the subject’s chart whatsoever, so that she can get a fresh perspective on who the subject is as a person at this stage of life. The interview lasts several hours and covers topics such as current living situation, marriage, family, health, religion and spirituality, life review, and feelings about death and dying. She also assesses cognitive functioning and administers a procedure to assess “wisdom.”
Because the interviews cover a range of intimate topics and involve a high degree of confidentiality and trust, Dr. Bradley uses her intuitive training before, during and after the interview. She says, “Each morning, I meditate to pull my astral body back and align or calibrate it with my physical body, and also to bring my spirit into the physical dimension in both space and time. Prior to the interview, I connect spirit-to-spirit with the person I am going to meet. A message will come, a knowing, or perhaps a color. I will then set my energy to compliment that of my subject. This helps me to enter that person’s world in an energetic way.”
An example of this is an instance “when I received a strong sense of a certain shade of aqua blue prior to meeting my study participant for the interview. Then I arrived at her house to find that the entire interior of her home was decorated to the last detail in this shade of blue. I was impressed that, although this lady was going through many personal trials at the time, including the recent death of an adult child, she maintained an upbeat attitude about life. It brought to mind the symbolism of the color turquoise in Francesca’s energy model.”
The variety of subjects frequently calls for a variety of “energy tools” to be used from the AIM toolbox. Dr. Bradley speaks about this in her own words: “…within the group of study participants, there are as many individual and unique personalities as there are subjects. Most are in good health, but I have interviewed several people who were in the last stages of terminal illness. These were some of my most poignant and memorable interviews. A few have had mental disorders, and there are other ‘difficult’ subjects, such as those who are reticent to participate. Neutrality is never more important than when trying to gather information in such an interview. “I attempt to create a grounded, neutral space of spiritual integrity so that I can hold the information given to me in a nonjudgmental atmosphere, being reassuring without becoming overly empathic.”
“In such an extensive and lengthy interview, touching on virtually every aspect of their lives, all sorts of information and attached emotional material may come up and out in various ways-sometimes right at me!” Because of these challenges, Dr. Bradley emphasizes the importance of neutral separations after the interview, which she does routinely. In fact, one of the most important energetic concepts she mentioned several times in our discussion was the idea of clear separations and boundaries. Often subjects will share very personal, private information that has never been told to anyone. When she has set the intention of the interview and the boundaries are clear, she observes that her subjects are more willing to give access to their information and feel the freedom to share their life stories.
As I interviewed Dr. Bradley, it seemed apparent to me that a predominant energy used throughout her interviews and consultations is a strong ongoing infusion of Supreme Being energy. Both subject and interviewer have an easier time going through the process when the protection boundary using SB energy is affirmed. Such are the experiences that Dr. Bradley is honored to encounter as a researcher and human being. As she has stated, her work is strongly influenced by C. G. Jung, and I have noted a style of relation between Dr. Bradley and Dr. Jung as suggested in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (p. 131), “To my mind, in dealing the individual, only individual understanding will do. We need a different language for every patient. … the crucial point is that I confront the patient as one human being to another...a dialogue demanding two partners...face to face...eye to eye.” Or, as Dr. Bradley would concur, “spirit to spirit.”
By Anna MacKinnon, BA, MIM. Anna is a business consultant, Academy Adjunct Faculty member, and Intuition Medicine practitioner living in Marin. She specializes in astral travel experiences as they relate to her energy practice and is also a keen follower of Dr. Jung and psychological study in general.