Dr. Bill Cloke
I cannot remember a time when I was not curious about people…

When I entered college my curiosity lead me to choose a major in anthropology. I was attracted to the field because it was concerned with the study of mankind. I was intrigued by the way culture
affected behavior and the striking similarities between people.

As a Teacher Corps fellow at USC we worked in teams to bring cutting edge teaching methods to
inner city schools. From this experience I learned the value of service and how to work effectively with a culturally diverse population.

As a teacher in the Santa Monica City Unified School District I developed individualized instruction programs and learned how to determine and meet the unique needs of my students. I was intrigued by the acceleration in academic performance when my students self esteem improved. I was curious about the relationship between psychology and behavior. I began studying developmental psychology and attachment theory.

In 1979 I was invited to join a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Monica. Under the tutelageof some very knowledgeable and talented therapists I was exposed to the immense field of psychological literature and began my journey into the amazing complexity of human interaction. I decided to return to graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in psychology.

My graduate training included cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic existential, psychoanalytic, self psychology and emotionally focused couple therapy. I have continued to develop specializations in anxiety, depression, self esteem issues, anger management, and relationship. Throughout my career I have worked with people in a variety of ways, from teaching classes, writing magazine articles, appearing on television shows and a stint as a radio psychologist and resident psychologist for an online website.

In my work with people I have discovered that if I am actively involved in the therapy process and
combine this activity with patience and empathy,that we are able to work through the important
psychological issues. It is to this end that I continue to work at understanding and supporting the efforts of people to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

When I think about therapy an old saying comes to mind, ”Through the fire all that remains is gold.”Therapy is the fire that burns away the pain from our antiquated, unproductive ways of thinking and behaving, making way for new ideas that open us to the possibilities for a more


Entries by Dr. Bill Cloke

What is Transformation?

(0) Comments | Posted 23 June 2016 | (22:35)

We rode past the horse ranches, the fields of corn, cabbage, orange and walnut trees. We crossed the one paved street and shagged in and out of the wash, eucalyptus trees and shrubs to the road that led up into the mountains. There were small rolling hills, green from the...

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Love and Tyranny

(3) Comments | Posted 29 April 2016 | (22:39)

Jose came to my office in shreds. He was totally devastated. He so wanted to love but struggled mightily to be loving. He sought out relationships but was continually embroiled in tempestuous dramas about what he perceived to be slights, betrayals and downright screw ups. He had to let them...

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The Art of Conflict

(0) Comments | Posted 11 April 2016 | (21:25)

Ben was nervous as he drove to Sarah's apartment for their first date. Had he taken care of everything? He made reservations at the nicest restaurant, showered, put on his favorite outfit and was arriving just a few minutes late to give her a bit more time. Sarah was rushing...

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Can We Choose Our Lives or Are We Dyed in The Wool?

(1) Comments | Posted 2 December 2015 | (02:22)

My friend Brett shot me an email and suggested lunch. Of course I jumped at the chance as we've been friends for several years and we always have a great time joking and talking about everything under sun. We frequently bring up stories about our lives to embellish whatever subject...

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How to Love Dangerously

(1) Comments | Posted 12 October 2015 | (20:56)

"Only love, only long empathy and identification and compassion can root another person in their heart so deeply there's no escaping your hatred of her, not ever; especially not when the thing you hate most about her is your capacity to be hurt by her." Jonathan Franzen from his book...

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The Five Essentials for a Happy Relationship

(0) Comments | Posted 27 September 2015 | (01:07)

"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it."...

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Who Are We Really?

(0) Comments | Posted 9 April 2015 | (21:59)

As I fall into my day a familiar mood invades my body, seeping into my cells like an odorless tasteless gas. My gut churns a pervasive metallic liquid that stirs my system. This translucent toxin finally reaches my brain causing it to slow down. I know what it is, it's...

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How to Deal With Difficult People

(0) Comments | Posted 2 February 2015 | (21:03)

"You must change how you react to people before you can change how you interact with them," says Rick Kirschner, N.D., coauthor of Dealing with People You Can't Stand.
"To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."-- Gichin Funakoshi, father of modern Karate
Jacklyn was a...

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Rules, Power, Anger and Control: How to Deal with Difficult People

(0) Comments | Posted 28 January 2015 | (21:59)

"You must change how you react to people before you can change how you interact with them," says Rick Kirschner, N.D., coauthor of Dealing with People You Can't Stand.
"To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." - Gichin Funakoshi, father of modern Karate

Jacklyn worked as...

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Marriage License or Lease?

(0) Comments | Posted 11 November 2014 | (21:48)

"It's weird, marriage. It's like this license that gives a person the legal right to control their spouse /their 'other half."― Jess C. Scott, Blind Leading Another

"They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning."
― Clint Eastwood


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How Do You Know If You Have a True Friend?

(2) Comments | Posted 29 September 2014 | (00:00)

"A true friend is one soul in two bodies." - Aristotle

"Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words." - George Eliot

As I walked to gym class in middle school when I was 14 years old, I was...

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Man In The Mirror: How Empathy Creates Insight

(0) Comments | Posted 29 July 2014 | (02:59)

Jack took on the job as managing partner for his law firm in Brentwood California. He formed a Limited Liability Company with his partners because his landlord was jacking up the rents and he wanted to save money on rent. After a few years Jack became increasingly irritated that he...

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You Say Potato and I Say Potahto - How Can We See the Same Thing So Differently?

(0) Comments | Posted 9 July 2014 | (01:51)

Ben and Nancy were at home one evening when something happened that shook them up. This was not the first time either. The weekend had gone well, they cooked dinner together, danced, talked, made love and were in excellent spirits as Sunday evening rolled around. Nancy was (in her mind)...

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Male Menopause or Mid-Life Crisis, You Be the Judge

(1) Comments | Posted 29 May 2014 | (02:09)

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 64" laments the Beatles song. When I was young no one in our generation wanted to live past thirty, it was considered to be too old. Now we watch a 71 year old Mick Jagger prance and leap...

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The Art of Decoding Moods

(0) Comments | Posted 21 May 2014 | (00:00)

I'm driving to work the other day and I feel something come over me, like a dark blanket. It's a mood alright and it snakes its way in like some odorless tasteless gas and before my eyes it has enveloped me. I hear myself saying "So what's the point of...

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The Steely Bitch Called Loss

(1) Comments | Posted 20 April 2014 | (19:39)

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

The dreaded phone call finally came on a Friday morning. My...

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How to Break Your Anxiety Habit?

(0) Comments | Posted 2 March 2014 | (22:28)

It's 2:30 AM and Jack is wide awake. He can't turn his mind off. He's thinking thinking thinking about everything he has to do and hasn't done; that comment his boss made yesterday accusing him of slacking off, his girlfriend is pushing to get married and yet all he wants...

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Does Anger Have a Place in Love Relationships?

(0) Comments | Posted 20 February 2014 | (23:00)

The other day I was sitting in my office with an enraged couple and I could not get a word in edgewise. They were locked nose to nose in a mudslinging, vitriol induced confrontation. I silently asked myself, what are they really fighting about? It can't be about what she...

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What Do Women Want Anyway?

(7) Comments | Posted 4 February 2014 | (15:33)

My wife of 22 years and I were making dinner the other night and between shifts of chopping and mixing I was waxing philosophical about what women want. So, naturally I sort of put the question to her in my typically male off handed way, so what is it that...

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