Program Coordinator, Instructor
Thomas Joseph Doherty is a licensed psychologist who founded and directs the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on (1) the diversity of human relationships with the natural world, (2) factors influencing conservation behaviors, and (3) empirically supported psychology and counseling practice. Thomas is the President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Div. 34, The Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology. He was the founding Editor of the journal Ecopsychology and served as member of the APA Climate Change Task Force. Thomas also works with individuals and consults with organizations through his business Sustainable Self. For an example of how Thomas Doherty addresses “personal sustainability” with people see this video.
Thomas grew up in Buffalo, New York, and received his BA from Columbia University. In his early career, he worked as a wilderness therapy expedition leader, professional river-rafting guide in the Grand Canyon, and canvaser for Greenpeace. Thomas received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School. His doctoral research examined the emotions and life changes of people recovering from heart disease. Thomas’ work has been featured in publications such as the Oregonian,The New York Times, and Sustainability. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northeast Portland.
Classes: Introduction to Ecopsychology, Mental Health Diagnosis, Lifespan Development, Applied Topics in Ecopsychology (Writing from the Perspectives of Science, Memoir, Non-fiction & Poetry), Wilderness and Adventure Therapy field course, Environmental Psychology. New for Fall 2014: Conservation Psychology
I and my students explore perennial questions about environmental identity and the lived experience of an ecological self, aspects of the human psyche that are integral to our development and sustainability as a species, but that seem to us now–in our world of human artifice–as new and strange.
Teaching Philosophy: Your question is worth more than my answer.
Areas of Expertise
Ecopsychology, Conservation Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Health Psychology, Counseling & Psychotherapy, Organizational Consulting, Climate Change Education, Team Building, Group Facilitation, Business Skills for Mental Health Professionals
My research identifies best practices for ecopsychology and conservation psychology. This includes applying the concept of sustainability to personal health and identity, providing empirical support for nature-based counseling and therapy, improving education and dialog about global climate change, and creating programs to prevent burnout in conservation professionals. A recent project I enjoyed was a “surfing and psychology” initiative that looked at ocean surfing and surf culture from the perspective of personal identity and sense of connection with the forces and cycles of nature.
- Doherty, T. J. & Chen, A. (In Press) Improving Human Functioning: Ecotherapy and Environmental Health Approaches. In R. Gifford (Ed.). Research Methods in Environmental Psychology.
- Doherty, T. J. (2013). Editorial: Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy: Mental Health Providers as Victims and First Responders. Ecopsychology, 5, S1
- Macy, R. & Doherty T. J. (2013). Annotated Guide to Graduate Education in Environmentally Focused Psychology and Therapy. Ecopsychology 5,136-145
- Doherty, T. J. (2012). Preface. In M. Gray, J. Coates (Editor), T. Hetherington (Eds.) Environmental Social Work. Routledge
- Doherty, T. J. (2011, October). Ecopsychology and Environmentally-Focused Psychologies. Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology Bulletin.http://www.apadivisions.org/division-34/publications/newsletters/epc/2011/10/ecopsychology.aspx
- Doherty, T. J. (2011). Editorial: Psychologies of the Environment. Ecopsychology, 3, 75-77.
- Doherty, T. J. & Clayton, S. (2011) The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change. American Psychologist, 66, 265–276
- Swim, J. K.; Stern, P. C.; Doherty, T. J.; Clayton, S.; Reser, J. P.; Weber, E. U.; Gifford, R.; Howard, G. S. (2011) Psychology’s Contributions to Understanding and Addressing Global Climate Change. American Psychologist: 66, 241-250.
- Macy, R. & Doherty, T. J. (2010). An Annotated Guide to Graduate Education in Environmentally-focused Psychology and Therapy in the United States, Canada, & Mexico. Ecopsychology, 2, 239-246
- Doherty, T. J. (2009). Editorial: A peer reviewed journal for Ecopsychology. Ecopsychology, 1
- Doherty, T. J. (2013, August). Session Chair. Surfing & Psychology: Surfers’ Experience, Identity, and Empowerment in Context. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, HI
- Doherty, T. J. (2013, August). Discussant: Symposium Design of the Psychotherapist’s Office – Lessons from Research and Experience . American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, HI
- Doherty, T. J. (2012, August). Session Chair. Ecotherapy: Toward an Empirical Foundation and paper presentation, Nature-Based Stress Reduction: Linking Research on Mindfulness and Restorative Natural Environments. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
- Doherty, T. J. (2012, August). Chair: Invited Symposium: Perspectives on Epistemology, Ethics and Practice in Environmental Psychology. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
- Doherty, T. J. & Hill, G. M. (2012, June). Mindfulness and Sustainability: Zen practices for a resilient self and planet. Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, Portland Oregon
- Doherty, T. J. (2012, February). The Psychology Behind Sustainable Practices–At Work and At Home. Port of Portland. Portland, Oregon.
- Doherty, T. J.(August, 2011) Incorporating Environmental Content in Graduate Psychology Courses. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC.
- Doherty, T. J. (November, 2010). Master of Two Worlds: Negotiating the emotional terrain in your sustainability work. Webinar: The International Society of Sustainability Professionals. Portland, Oregon.
- Doherty, T. J. (October, 2010). Keynote Address: Ecotherapy & Nature Based Stress Reduction. Oregon Counseling Association 2010 Annual Fall Conference, Silverton, OR
- Doherty, T. J. (October, 2010). Keynote Address: Self-Sustainability - Keeping Motivation and Inspiration in Our Lives. 33rd Annual Nurse Practitioners of Oregon Education Conference. Gleneden Beach, Oregon
- Doherty, T. J. ( August, 2010). Addressing Social Justice Implications of Climate Change: Barriers and Opportunities. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in San Diego, CA
- Clayton, S. Doherty, T. J., Gifford, R. Howard, G. Swim, J. K. (2009). APA task force on psychology and global climate change – Perspectives of task force members. Symposium at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Doherty, T. J. et al. (August, 2008). Psychologists’ contributions to health and resilience in conservation settings. Symposium at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA.
- Doherty, T. J. (August, 2007). Nurturing the Sustainable Self: Talking to clients about environmental issues. Paper session, American Psychological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
Psy.D. 2002 Antioch New England Graduate School, B.A. 1987 Columbia University
From the Newsroom
After helping to found the Ecopsychology certificate, Thomas Doherty is continuing to publish on the psychological aspects of environmental issues and the restorative effects of nature.