Dr. Ian Bradley
What I do
I draw upon my years of experience in psychology to help senior managers, executives and professionals with psychological problems related to the workplace. The problems can relate to organizational, interpersonal or even lifestyle issues with manifestations varying from depression to anxiety. Many of the clients that I see are working but not at their peak performance and enjoyment. Others are working but with sleep-robbing stress. Still others are off work on medical disability for some psychological problem and therefore in need of an effective return-to-work intervention.
Since my background blends clinical psychology with industrial/organization psychology, I am equipped to deal with issues that are either company-wide (executive team communication, territorial conflicts, role ambiguities etc) or individually-based (lack of motivation, disorganization, stress etc).
In short, I help both you the person, as well as the business, with the necessary skills or culture to survive, if not thrive, in the workplace.
For over twenty-five years, I was the Psychologist-in-Chief of the Department of Psychology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, a partner hospital of the McGill University Health Center in Montreal. As department director, leading a team that sometimes numbered over thirty psychologists, I performed all the traditional administrative tasks – managing budgets, training staff, writing policy manuals and other mundane tasks.
However, what I most loved was developing new programs. To do this, we took current research findings and applied them to solve practical problems that our patients brought us. Programs in stress management, life habits, OCD, depression and social anxiety were only some of the clinics that we created.
For most of my professional life, I have combined these two roles – therapist and manager. There’s no doubt which one was tougher – it’s managing people. Most patients – even those with bizarre issues – were invariably polite and grateful for the help I provided. If I didn’t cure them, at the very least they seemed appreciative of the fact that I listened.
Managing a professional staff is entirely another thing. Using only moral suasion to entice staff away from individual interests to the pursuit of common goals was only one example of the infinitely more difficult tasks required of a leader. After managing people, I learned to appreciate the psychology of the workplace and refine my skills as an executive coach.
What does all this experience bring? When someone talks to me about a work problem, I am capable of understanding the problem, and together with the client, able to develop an effective action plan to overcome the difficulty.
What’s Baseball got to do with it?
I have been the Montreal psychologist for the joint NHL/ NHL-PS behavioral health program for over twenty years, I do the same type of work with the MLS and when they were around- the Expos. I’m not a sports psychologist, rather my work with professional athletes involves psychological issues that affect athletic performance. Young men with lots of disposable income living a highly disciplined life where every movement is scrutinized by often fickle coaches and fans- what could go wrong? Besides all this, there is something called talent:
Think of it, the batter is 60.5 feet away from a pitcher who can hurl the ball at the plate at over 90 miles per hour. In other words, the ball travels from the pitcher’s hand to the plate in about 500 milliseconds. The fastest human can react in a motor performance task only with a latency of 150 to 200 milliseconds, and that’s the simple movement of a finger in response to a tone. Moving a heavy bat with a rotation of the entire body takes much longer. As a result, the hitter has about 50 milliseconds of visual information from the pitcher’s initial release to the time when he has to start the swing of the bat. This so-called dynamic visual acuity obviously doesn’t happen without practice. However, it also doesn’t happen without proper concentration and focus.
The focus and concentration required by athletes are easily impaired by distraction – and often, that distraction comes from doubt. The doubt can exist as a shadow over the player’s head from a coach who is not behind the player or the doubt can come as an ephemeral flash of what might go wrong. In either case, the smooth athletic performance of being “in-the-zone” is lost.
Parallels to performance in the workplace are apparent.
When the work supervisor is perceived as critical and ready to pounce on every mistake – focus and concentration are impaired. When workers are motivated more by avoiding censure than they are by striving for success, then stress predominates. My consulting work helps managers learn to lead more effectively with a caring type of performance management where leaders facilitate the performance of their team. Equally important for individual workers are time management and goal-setting skills that underlie focus and productivity.
4115 Sherbrooke West, suite 410
Westmount, Qc H3Z 1K9
Current Teaching Appointments
Department of Psychology, McGill
Department of Psychiatry, McGill
Current Professional Affiliations
American Board Certified, Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Society of Psychologists in Management, SPIM, member since 1990
Society of Industrial and Organization Psychologists, SIOP, member since 1990