Bret Moore, PsyD, ABPP
What particular experiences and people have you had throughout your life have influenced you to be the psychologist you are today?
It started off in the beginning with a few influential people who drew me to psychology. The first was a psychology instructor at the community college I went to. He made psychology fun and helped his students see how psychology could be practically applied to the real world. As I was completing my undergraduate degree in business I was introduced to a guidance counselor who helped me define my interests and strengths. Psychology was a good fit. From there it was a series of professors and peers who helped me refine my interests throughout my masters and doctoral work.
What philosophy guides your work?
My background is in Adlerian Psychology. I was drawn to the theories and writings of Alfred Adler as a master's student. Fortunately, I found out that there was a school founded on Adlerian Psychology-the Adler School of Psychology in Chicago. Adlerian Psychology is a great mix of cognitive, behavioral and analytical psychology. It's a combination of the best psychology has to offer. There are a lot of Adlerian concepts that are scattered throughout more modern theories. In fact, Albert Ellis once said that Adler was one of the first cognitive behavioral psychologists. In short, I think people are always striving for becoming something better, but often get stuck because of social, emotional, cognitive, or physical limitations. And if people don't feel socially connected they revert to unhelpful ways of moving through life.
What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of your career?
The most rewarding was getting accepted into graduate school. I was a C/D student my first two years of college. Somehow I turned it around. Joining the army and deploying to Iraq were certainly high points of my career. Although I wouldn't want to go back, serving in Iraq gave me a new outlook on life and as a psychologist. Other accomplishments I'm proud of are publishing my first book, going through the process of board certification, completing my masters in psychopharmacology and writing my first prescription as a psychologist.
How do you handle career-related stress and pressure?
I spend time with my wife and daughter. They have a great way of helping me keep things in perspective. But, to be honest, my career-related stress tends to be pretty low. It helps to enjoy what you are doing and surround yourself with people focused on similar goals.
Do you have advice for budding psychologists or psychologists in training on how to get to the level of your expertise, especially for those of us interested with working with the military or veteran population?
I'm not sure I'm an expert in much of anything. I've always considered myself a generalist. I have strong interests in trauma, sleep, psychotherapy processes and psychopharmacology. I look at fellow division 18 members like Terence Keane, Walter Penk, and Pat DeLeon as experts in their respective areas. If I remain a generalist I will always have plenty of people to look up to. So, I guess that would be my advice to early career psychologists and students — don't specialize to soon. Get exposure to the very broad field of psychology. And as far as working with service members and veterans, joining the military or going to work for the VA cuts right to the chase.
What do you think is next for you?
I hope to stay where I am for a while. I occupy an administrative, clinical, and training position as a civilian for the Department of the Army. I have a truly great job. Other than what I'm doing now, I'd like to write and edit books full time but it's hard to pay the bills doing so. I could see myself in a university or professional school at some point, but since I'm not a researcher or have much interest in writing grants full-time this may be more difficult.