Peter Mortola


Rogers Hall 323, MSC: 86

Peter Mortola is a professor of counseling psychology and coordinator of the school psychology program. He specializes in school psychology, narrative approaches to understanding children’s problems, Gestalt theory, child development, and developmentally appropriate methods of child and adolescent counselor education.

Areas of Expertise

Lifespan Development, Group Counseling with Children, Social & Emotional Assessment of Children, Developmentally Appropriate Methods of Counseling Children


Boys Advocacy and Mentoring (BAM!)

Boys Advocacy and Mentoring, or BAM!, supports boys and the adults who care about them. We believe in the ability of boys to be healthy, happy individuals who are positive contributors to community and family life. To achieve this, we believe we must recognize and support what is natural about boys’ behavior while helping them to be more interpersonally connected and emotionally intelligent.Through our boys groups, workshops for adults, consultation services, and boys group guidebook, we hope to guide the current generation of boys towards becoming a future generation of relationally skilled men.Get more information about BAM!

“I loved your Boys Advocacy and Mentoring guide. You have written a wise and grounded guide for working with boys in groups. You really get it about boys.”

—Michael Thompson
Author of Raising Cain: Focus on Boys and host of the associated PBS documentary

This book is about two related things. First, it is a book about Dr. Violet Oaklander’s particular approach to doing therapy with children and adolescents. Second, it is a book about her methods of training adults to do that kind of therapy with the children and adolescents with whom they work. These two things are related in that Dr. Oaklander’s methods of doing therapy with children and her methods of training adults share important parallels. These parallels are explored throughout the book, and the result is a text that should be of interest to anyone involved in or interested in working with children or adolescents in the counseling, therapeutic, or educational contexts. Essentially, I believe this book will be of interest to anyone who wrestles with a fundamental question that has captured my ongoing attention: How does one come to understand and work effectively with children? Windowframes is published by Gestalt Press and can be ordered online.

“Thank you, Peter, for writing this book. I hope those of you who read it will gain from it an appreciation of what it takes to create and run such a training program, as well as insights into the complexity of teaching adults to learn how to work with children and adolescents in a vital and effective way.”

-Violet Oaklander
Santa Barbara, CA
August, 2004

  • Mortola, Peter. (1999). Narrative formulation and gesalt closure: helping clients make sense of “disequilibrium” through stories in the therapeutic setting. Gestalt Review. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.
  • Mortola, Peter. (1999). Narrative as a bridge: storied links within and between Confluent Education and Multi-Cultural Education. In J. Brown (Ed.), Advances in Confluent Education: Integrating Consciousness for Human Change. Vol. 2. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  • Mortola, Peter & Shapiro, S. (1998). The Place of Group Dynamics in Confluent Education: Integrating Consciousness for Human Change. vol. 1. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.


Academic Credentials

PhD 1998, MA 1993 University of California,Santa Barbara, BA 1981 University of California, Berkeley

Location: Rogers Hall