Program Coordinator, Instructor
Thomas Joseph Doherty founded the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Thomas is a licensed psychologist who specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on (1) human relationships and interbeing with the natural world, (2) factors influencing conservation behaviors, and (3) empirically supported counseling and psychotherapy practice. Thomas is the Past-President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Div. 34, The Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology. He was founding Editor in Chief 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 was the first person in his family to attend college and graduate school. He 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 fundraiser for Greenpeace USA. Thomas received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School; his doctoral research in behavioral medicine examined the emotions and life changes of people recovering from heart disease. Thomas’ eco-psychology work has been profiled in publications such as the Oregonian,The New York Times, and Sustainability. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northeast Portland.
Classes: Environmental Identity and Ecological Self, Ecopsychology: Empirical and Theoretical Basis, Mental Health Diagnosis, Lifespan Development, Wilderness and Adventure Therapy Expedition Course, Environmental Psychology, Conservation Psychology, and Applied Topics in Ecopsychology (e.g., Writing Workshop: Ecopsychology from the Perspectives of Science, Memoir, Non-fiction & Poetry).
I and my students explore perennial questions about identity, well-being and felt connection with nature, aspects of the human psyche that are integral to our development and sustainability as a species, but that can seem to us now–in our world of human artifice and technology–as new and strange.
Teaching Philosophy: “Your question is worth more than my answer.” (Even our best answers are always tentative. But, a good question can last you a lifetime.”)
Areas of Expertise
Ecopsychology, Conservation Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Climate Change and Mental Health, Nature-based (Eco)therapy and Wilderness Therapy, Professional Counseling & Psychotherapy, Organizational Consulting, Group Facilitation, Business Skills for Mental Health Professionals
- Best practices for ecopsychology and conservation psychology
- Applying the concept of sustainability to personal health and identity
- Empirical support for nature-based counseling and therapy
- Global climate change, mental health and wellbeing
- Preventing burnout in conservation and sustainability professionals
- Ocean surfing, environmental identity and behavior
- The psychology of wilderness experiences
- Doherty, T. J. (In Press) Mental Health Impacts. In J. Patz & B. S. Levy (Eds.) Climate Change and Public Health. Oxford University Press
- 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. & 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.
- Doherty, T. J. (2009). Editorial: A peer reviewed journal for Ecopsychology. Ecopsychology, 1
- Hernandez-Wolfe, P., Doherty, T. J. & Hyman, M. (October 2014). Round table: Decolonizing and Ecopsychology Perspectives on the Use and Development of Indigenous Healing Practices. 9th Annual Northwest Ecological Community Psychology Conference. Portland, OR
- Doherty, T. J. Berman, M.G., Russell, K. C. & Scheinfeld, D. (2014, August). Symposium Chair and Presenter. Vitamin E: The Natural Environment As an Active Ingredient in Psychological Treatment. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC
- Doherty, T. J., Lupia, A & Feygina, I (2014, August). Chair and Presenter: How to Talk About Environmental Issues So People Will Listen & Listen So People Will Talk American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC
- Doherty, T. J. (2014, August). President’s Address: How Psychologists (Should) Think about Environmental Issues. APA Div. 34. American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC
- New Zealand Department of Conservation. Lead facilitator. Conservation Psychology Institutes. Auckland and Wellington, NZ, May 2014
- Doherty, T. J. (2014, January). “Values about Animals.” Lewis & Clark Law School Human-Animal Studies Conference. Portland, OR
- 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
- Psy.D. 2002 Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, NH
- B.A. 1987 Columbia University, New York, NY
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.
Every day, Americans go to school as students, teachers, staff, or administrators, in dilapidated buildings with unsafe toxins, dwindling budgets, and outdated technology. To overcome these limitations, the Center for Green Schools has launched a national action plan for educating for sustainability. The plan, which addresses both the curriculum and facilities management of schools, provides a series of actions to ensure that by 2040 every student graduating from a K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future.