Not sure on a Mac but on a Win machine you hold down the ctrl key and click the images you want. Then right click on one of the images and a drop down list will appear with the batch rename option.
whenever I select a photo in the bridge browser it immediately automaticallty opens photoshop
Can you specify this a bit more, to me it sounds you are using the favorites panel to select the images?
A favorite is no more then an alias of the file in the content panel or a folder in the folder panel and with one click you activate this alias. To my opinion Favorites should be only used for folders but thats me
In the content panel you can select a file with one click, double click opens it either in PS or Camera Raw using Bridge, depending on the settings you have made in the preferences.
On a Mac you can use click on the first file and shift click on the last wished to select a whole bunch. Using Command key you can select multiple single files using a random selection, etc.