Professional Story

Dr. Harris’s practice has always been and continues to be wide-ranging. Upon completion of residency in psychiatry, Dr. Harris began a solo private practice of hospital and office-based psychiatry. Within a few years he started psychoanalytic training. Psychoanalysis is a more in-depth form of psychotherapy directed beyond symptoms to the whole person.

At about the same time, he began working outside the boundary of traditional psychiatric practice. He became a medical expert for the Social Security Administration evaluating individuals applying for psychiatric disability. This experience stimulated interest in the workplace and the psychology of performance. He then worked as a consultant to IBM evaluating performance problems. Consulting work expanded to other Fortune 500 companies and smaller organizations. Companies with whom he has consulted include: AT&T, Tribune Company, Ameritech, McKinsey, U.S. Postal Service, Quaker and Fermi Lab.

Some of the corporate consultations were disability assessments. This developing expertise resulted in consulting work with disability insurers and third party administrators (TPA’S) of psychiatric disability. In addition to performing Independent Medical Examination (IME’S) for disability insurers and TPA’S, he has been a consultant to Unum, Unum-Provident, Sedgwick James and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

At the earliest stages of his organizational consulting practice, Dr. Harris’s expertise was limited to assessment – “diagnosis” of performance problems. Consulting work expanded to the “treatment” side in the form of executive coaching, change management, team building, management training and performance enhancement work. Continued involvement and interest in performance led to work with a professional basketball team and individual athletes.

Dr. Harris also works in the interface of law and psychiatry. As a forensic psychiatrist, he assesses individuals claiming psychiatric injury from accidents and workplace experiences. Experiences with organizations and understanding of workplace dynamics have been particularly valuable in acting as a medical expert in the area of employment law.

Dr. Harris has performed close to 2000 work-related assessments of performance ability. He has an ongoing research project on performance based on interviews of highly accomplished individuals in business, sports and performing arts. This project led to collaboration with Michael Hebron, a former PGA Instructor of the Year and consistently ranked as one of the top twenty golf instructors in America. From this collaboration Dr. Harris has developed a golf coaching method that disolves the artificial distinction between the mental and physical aspects of golf.

In addition to his formal training, Dr. Harris’s experience as an accomplished athlete and jazz pianist has greatly contributed to his understanding and approach to individual and group performance. As well, his efforts to help others live a more effective and satisfying life draw on his longstanding personal practices for health and effectiveness.