About the Author
D G Lamb engendered an early interest in art. His father, a high school art teacher, showed him some simple rules of perspective while he working on a fifth grade art project. Seeing the difference between his drawing and his peers, he began drawing more on his own. After his painting of a leopard was hung in the main hallway later that same year, he was hooked (social reinforcement is a powerful thing). Although opportunities to create have varied since then, he has maintained a love of art since that time.
However, as a senior in high school, when contemplating a field of study, David decided that making a living as a fine artist was a long shot and the time pressures associated with commercial art might ruin his enjoyment of the process. What to do? The thought of spending decades doing something you were good at, but did not like to do or find interesting, seemed an absurd prospect. His recent semester in psychology had been interesting, so he decided on that when it came to declaring a major on college applications. If the subject did not hold his interest, he could switch to something else. Fortunately, David’s interest held long enough for him to obtain a BS in Psychology from Colorado State University. What next? That’s where art makes it dramatic re-entrance!
His father told him about a Master’s program at Emporia State University in Art Therapy. What a perfect blend of his two interests! He was off to Emporia, Kansas to learn about how to use art as a psychotherapeutic technique. Fairly soon after arriving, however, David learned some additional things as well. It turned out that being a Teaching Assistant was not just proctoring and scoring tests, but was actually teaching three sections of Introduction to Psychology. That’s right, writing and delivering the lectures, making up the tests and grading them, the whole nine yards. During that very busy first semester, David also discovered that he needed to make up a lot of undergraduate art classes. Studio art classes at CSU had mostly been in the afternoon, which conflicted with football practice (football won that conflict because it paid the bills). Finally, his art therapy professor admitted that the discipline was not exactly well established at that time and graduates of the program would probably need to sell the need for their expertise. David was not a salesman. Not to worry, it all turned out well: having to explain things to undergraduate students resulted in him establishing a very strong foundation in psychological theory and concepts; with the combination of the ESU art classes and the transfer of many CSU credits, along with a couple of art education classes, he received a second Bachelor’s in Art; and David was accepted into the Clinical Psychology Master’s program at ESU and so earned two MS degrees after completing his research thesis (yes, non-contingent positive reinforcement can induce learned helplessness in college students).
What next? Why work, of course! He had to pay off those student loans, after all (which was not nearly so horrendous as is typically the case nowadays. Still…). It so happened that at that time, Kansas allowed for Master’s Level psychologists to practice if they worked within the state mental health system, so it was off to Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center. Three years later, David decided that if he was going to make a career of psychology, he would need to get to the doctoral level. After an entire summer of study, he took the GRE and 13 applications later, the University of Kentucky was the best fit and it was time to move again. Six years later, David was packing up again, heading for Phoenix to start a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Barrow Neurological Institute. This time, his move included a wife and two year old son.
In the ensuing years, two daughters graced David’s life and he learned a great deal about helping people to become more independent after some type of neurological injury. He has also worked with law enforcement officers to deal with PTSD after critical incidents and done consulting work as well. He has used Art Therapy in psychotherapy groups and individually with patients who had an interest and need. But at no time during these many years, did it ever occur to him to put his hand to creative writing. That would require David’s own medical crisis.
Following prostate cancer surgery, David’s son came from Oklahoma City to help out during the recovery. He suggested to his dad that he write down some of the ideas he had come up with to distract himself during their Boy Scout backpacking treks. With a great deal of help from the entire family, the original idea developed into a story, which created some characters who insisted on being heard, and Driven to the Hilt came alive.