#20 – Host of Shrink Rap Radio Psychology Podcast Dr David Van Nuys (AKA Dr Dave)

Dr Dave is a psychologist and host of the leading psychology podcast Shrink Rap Radio.  Shrink Rap Radio is an in depth interview series where Dr Dave speaks to leaders in the field on a broad array of psychology related topics  including psychotherapy, dreams, consciousness, depth psychology, business psychology, developmental psychology, mind/body psychology, personal growth, psychology and art, research psychology, social issues, and spirituality.

Some of his world class guests have included Philip Zimbardo, Irvin Yalom, Bonnie Badenoch and David Barlow.  Dr Dave is a pioneer in the podcasting arena having recently released his 487th episode and he continues to educate and inspire listeners across the globe.   Dr Dave was my inspiration for starting We All Wear it Differently.

When outside of the pod, “Dr. Dave” is also known as David Van Nuys, Ph.D. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Sonoma State University and served as that department’s Chair for seven years. The department has a longstanding reputation for its commitment to humanistic, transpersonal, and existential approaches to psychology. He has also taught psychology at the University of Montana, the University of Michigan, and the University of New Hampshire. He has served as a dissertation advisor for doctoral students at Saybrook Institute and the Institute for Integral Studies, among others.

David also runs a market research consulting business www.e-focusgroups.com which has served a distinguished list of clients, including The New York Times, Apple Computer, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and QuickenLoans, among others. He was on the board of directors of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association and served as Editor-in-Chief for that organization’s magazine, QRCA VIEWS. He has also served on the board of the Humanistic Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

David received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan and has worked as a licensed psychotherapist in both California and New Hampshire. He has led and/or co-led personal growth workshops at various growth centers around the U.S. and abroad including Ireland, Kauai, Mallorca, Switzerland, and Sweden.

David has written scores of articles and reviews for a variety of professional and popular publications. At one time, he wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column. In 2001, he co-authored the book, This is the Zodiac Speaking: Into the mind of a serial killer, in which he profiles the murderer in this famous, unsolved case. HBO picked up an option on the book with the idea of possibly using it as the basis for a mini-series.

David also periodically posts to his blog, “The Happiness Dispatch,” for the Psychology Today magazine.  In 2012, David joined the advisory board of the online journal, The International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy.

David describes himself as someone who has always had a wide range of hobbies and passions, the latest of which is Podcasting (as in Shrink Rap Radio).  Dr Dave sees podcasting as “The Next Big Thing.”  I think he was right!

Dr Dave's Tip For Early Career Psychologists

As a young psychologist Dr Dave says was very shy about approaching authority figures, so he didn't approach his professors and get to know them or allow them to get to know him.  Once he became a professor himself he found the relationships he developed with his students to be very nourishing.   He reminds us that those people (i.e. professors, teachers) need you as much as you need them.   As a young student Dr Dave felt like he had nothing to offer.  On reflection he wishes he'd had more self-confidence and had pushed through his fear to approach his superiors.  So Dr Dave's advice is this “If you suffer from any version of that, find some of those folks that are further along than you are and find a way to hang to hang out with them.  Ask them out to coffee even!


Leave me a comment or some feedback about this episode in the comments section.  I'll respond to everyone!

Amy Felman

1 Comment

  1. Gloria on March 1, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Congratulations on landing a big fish, Amy! You did yourself proud with your insightful questions. They covered pretty much the whole gamut of what anyone would want to know about Dr. Dave and his podcast, as well as giving a good coverage of the topic that is the focus of your own podcast. I’m sure it would be a big help to hear from someone who has not only successfully navigated the field but has extended his reach into a much broader arena for so long after officially retiring. I loved your laid back conversational style and I’m sure it has strengthened the special bond Dr. Dave has with many Aussies.

    One of the things I found interesting about David’s journey is how it unfolded organically and I like that in his interviews he often asks about the interviewees own journey – about how they come to be doing what they do. They often have similar stories of following the prompts. I imagine that would be very helpful information to psychologists in the making.

    I have been following Shrink Rap for nearly 10 years and have listened to all the back episodes at least once and often many times over. It has not only been a great education for me as a lay person but also very therapeutic, especially when I started doing transcripts. Several of them precipitated significant shifts in my life and all have broadened my understanding of self and others. I can highly recommend it, although as you note, it is time consuming. A transcript I did of James Hollis became incorporated into a dream which also starred Dr. Dave himself and led to me starting my own blog, something I would never have even thought of without the dream and that has also been very therapeutic. You never know where things lead!

    Kudos to you Amy and keep up the good work. I’m sure you will have many grateful listeners who can point back to hearing something on your show that guided them in the right direction.

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