I grew up in one of a dozen other families crowded into an old Victorian in Oakland in the 60’s. As a boy, I could step into anyone’s life without knocking. I was usually welcome. I visited my neighbors for the stories, the strange food, and to experience lives very different from my own. I thought everyone lived this way.


I still step into the lives of others, as a story catcher, a psychiatrist. The concerns of the storyteller become my concerns. The storyteller’s narratives have driven my passion for therapy, teaching, my research, and more recently, for writing. What an honor to be able to help others who have suffered from the same conditions that have affected my own life: PTSD and learning disabilities.

I learned to climb up and down our four-story apartment—had to—to escape harm and to survey my neighborhood from the rooftops. I still climb, my lifelong habit, a vertical meditation that offers a fresh perspective on my life and our world.

Since reading and writing have never come easily for me, I didn’t think these activities were meant for me. But when my kids encountered the complexities of adolescence, I began journaling. It grew on me, and I dared to nudge myself further into literary territory. Now I can’t seem to stop writing. Or reading. Nor do I want to.

Fletcher with Tacoma Mountain Rescue members
Climbing granite in Squamish, BC, Canada.

As a psychiatrist in Tacoma Washington Fletcher Taylor divides his professional time between clinical practice, teaching, and research. His published research includes work with anxiety/depression, learning disabilities, trauma-related issues, and sleep physiology. He and Alita Taylor founded Open Dialogue Pacific, an institute dedicated to teaching the Open Dialogue approach to providing mental health care for individuals with their families and communities. Learn more about his practice at