Posts Tagged ‘Counseling & Psychology’

Thomas Doherty Q/A featured in Portland Monthly Magazine Health

August 14th, 2014




Thomas Doherty was featured in the July Health Section of Portland Monthly Magazine and mentioned in Zach Dundas’ editor’s note, Living the Good Life, PDX-Style.

Thomas discusses how connecting with nature make us healthier and that time outdoors correlates with mental health. Thomas talks about ecopsyhcology and personal sustainability which includes getting enough rest and exercise.

Thomas prescribes expanding the classic directive of 30 minutes of rigorous exercise, three times a week to 30 minutes of quality outdoors time, three times a week.

Read the interview article pdf






Thomas Doherty highlighted in National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability

July 1st, 2014



Thomas Doherty was highlighted in recent National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability produced by The Center for Green Schools

Thomas Doherty was named as an “industry leader” in the Research section of the report (p.26) and quoted:

“As Dr. Thomas Doherty, President of the American Psychological Association’s Division 34 (Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology) observes: ‘The idea of Education for Sustainability [EfS] holds within it the opportunity to link the personal—in terms of identity, values, and empowerment—with the planetary in order to establish a more ecologically sound and just world. A comprehensive EfS research and assessment program would link theory, data, and application to help us understand these complex and interacting processes while translating our findings into research models and assessment methods that are accessible to all education stakeholders, both locally and globally.”


Download the National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability pdf

Happy Earth Day, Love Daddy and Mama

April 21st, 2014

— A developmental perspective leads to insights about how to celebrate Earth Day with children, in ways that may lead to deeper connections and activities as they grow older.

EarthFromAboveInspired by my recent research and talks on “parenting and nature” and being more attentive to the presence and urgency of parent-child communications given my wife Chelsea’s condition and her work with children and breast cancer, I began thinking about ways to celebrate Earth Day with my daughter Eva, age 6. I came upon the idea of giving her a gift for Earth Day, wrapped, as a surprise, in hopes that this gift giving would become a family tradition.

Anyone familiar with small children will know that surprises make a singular impression. In the long run, I would prefer her to think about Earth Day as a day to go out and help to restore some piece of the local landscape. But, it does make sense to begin using a developmental lens.

Children are egocentric in a normal and healthy way, lacking the abstract thinking ability that will come in adolescence. The world children know is local and concerns them and their families. For now, this day is a gift to her. Later on, we can think about giving back.

Her gift? I chose to give her a book, a large coffee table book Earth From Above by aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Technically, I am re-gifting her this book. I used to have it, open to an enticing page, displayed on a glass coffee table in my psychology office. Lately, I have not had a place to show it. So, it is been gathering dust, forgotten, high on a bookshelf. I thought this would be a perfect, impressive gift, heavy for a six-year-old at 10 pounds, and certainly the biggest book that she will own. And we can look at it before we go to bed and think about the earth and places near and far that we can visit someday.

And yes there will be an inscription: To Eva, Happy Earth Day, Love Daddy and Mama 2014.


“Parenting with Nature in Mind”, Thomas Doherty talk featured in The Oregonian

April 7th, 2014


Thomas Doherty, director of the Ecopsychology Certificate program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, will give a presentation on “Parenting with Nature in Mind” from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the South Chapel at Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road. (Cost is $10 for an individual or a couple, free for Lewis & Clark employees.)

Doherty’s goal for the presentation, he said, is to help parents clarify what their own environmental or “green” values are and focus on why they want to connect their kids to nature. “Then they can go into the action stage,” he said.

Parenting With Nature in Mind with Thomas Doherty

March 3rd, 2014

Parenting With Nature in Mind

 WED April 9

Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate Campus, South Chapel
[Campus Overview ] | [Campus Map] | [Google Directions]


dandelion-childJoin Thomas Doherty, director of the Ecopsychology program at Lewis & Clark, for a public dialogue on the importance of nature in child development and ways families can cope with environmental issues.

Through presentation of research findings, guided discussion and dialogue, the group will explore how parents can foster their and their children’s environmental identities, in a way that fits with their culture, diversity and other values.

Thomas will also describe ways to create opportunities for children to have safe, transcendent experiences in the outdoors that promote an ecological sense of self and interdependence with the web of life.

Part of our 2013-2014 Workshop Series.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Facilitator: Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Cost: Individual or couple (no CEUs/PDUs): $10
Individual with 2 CEUs or PDUs: $30

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Thomas Joseph Doherty, PsyDThomas J. Doherty is a licensed psychologist who created and helps to direct the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on human relationships with the natural world, environmental conservation, and sustainability with modern psychology, counseling and psychotherapy practice.

A former wilderness therapy expedition leader, Thomas received his doctoral degree in psychology from Antioch  New England Graduate School. Thomas was the founding Editor of the academic journal Ecopsychology. He is currently president of the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and served as a member of the APA’s Climate Change Task Force.

In addition to his work at Lewis & Clark, Thomas works with individuals and consults with organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He lives in Northeast Portland and with his wife and six-year-old daughter.

Thomas Doherty Animal Rights Talk — “Values about Animals”

February 4th, 2014

Thomas Doherty discusses “Values about Animals” at the Lewis & Clark Human-Animal Studies Conference on January 25, 2014.


How people think about and value other animals, and diversity of attitudes based on different value sets.

Thomas Doherty, a professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, will focus on basic values that people have regarding animals and the natural world. He will describe some values typologies drawn from psychology and the social sciences and invite the audience to reflect on their own personal values regarding animals. This will lead to a discussion of the interplay between one’s values and beliefs about the world and their norms or expectations for behavior, and also how values influence one’s scope of justice and moral inclusion or exclusion of other species. This in turn suggests ways to create spaces for constructive dialogue and collaboration about animal welfare among competing value or interest groups.

November 20th IFMA Luncheon: The Psychology of Sustainability Behavior

November 15th, 2013

The Psychology of Sustainability Behavior:
Implications for Facilities Managers

November Luncheon, Presentation and Tour

Presented by Thomas Joseph Doherty
for the 
IFMA – International Facility Management Association – Oregon & SW Washington Chapter

IFMA pic1sm

WED NOV 20, 2013



Port of Portland HQ
7200 NE Airport Way
Portland, Oregon 97218

Session Description:

This talk will provide a framework to help you understand some different ways that people think about environmental sustainability and the use of natural resources in businesses and organizations. We will identify some best practices for communicating with and motivating different stakeholders and implementing effective behavior changes. These include recognizing and honoring different beliefs, setting realistic goals, and utilizing appropriate incentives. In this model, differences of opinion about the role of sustainability in the workplace—what we will call “environmental diversity”—are seen as a source of new ideas and innovation.

11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration and Networking
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Luncheon and Presentation
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tour, Networking and Adjourn
Early Registration: Member(s)/Guest(s): $30 ea.
Non Member(s): $40 ea.
On-site Registration: Member(s), Guest(s) & Non Member(s): $45 ea.



About the Speaker:

Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Thomas Joseph Doherty is a licensed psychologist who created and helps to direct the Ecopsychology in Counseling Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on human relationships with the natural world, environmental conservation, and sustainability with modern counseling and psychotherapy practice. Thomas is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecopsychology and served as member of the American Psychological Association’s Climate Change Task Force. Thomas also works with individuals and consults with organizations.

Registration and Cancellation Information:

Registrations must be received by noon, November 15th, 2013 to ensure space availability. Registrations received after 5:00pm, November 15th, 2013 will be accepted on a space available basis. REGISTER HERE for the event.

Cancellations must be received by 5:00 pm, November 18th, 2013 to receive a refund. Cancellations received after 5:00 pm, November 18th, 2013, and no shows will not receive a refund.

WORKSHOP: Applying Classic Theories of Human Development in the Context of Nature and Social Justice

August 27th, 2013

Applying Classic Theories of Human Development in the Context of Nature and Social Justice


This interdisciplinary talk, suitable for counselors and educators, looks at some classic theories of human development in the modern context of people’s relationship to nature and other species.

For example, we will integrate Piaget’s theory of cognitive development with educator David Sobels’ principles of developmentally-appropriate environmental education. We will discuss the implications for education and counseling, particularly in terms of equity and social justice issues related to access to safe and healthy green spaces.

This workshop is part of our 2013-2014 Workshop Series


Workshop Details & Registration

September 25, 2013

5:00pm - 8:00pm

Lewis & Clark

Graduate Campus
South Chapel 81A

0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road
MSC 32
Portland OR 97219

[Visiting Campus Directions]
[Campus Map]

Instructor: Thomas Doherty, Psy.D

Fee: $30, includes CEUs/PDUs

Register now

Core units: .5

If you are a current Lewis & Clark graduate student and would like to attend this workshop to meet your Core Program requirements, please register through WebAdvisor.


About the Instructor

thomas-doherty-portraitThomas Doherty, Psy.D. developed the Ecopsychology in Counseling Certificate at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School and is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Ecopsychology journal.

A licensed psychologist, Thomas counsels adults, couples and families and also spent a number of years working with young people in the outdoors as a wilderness therapy expedition leader and a professional whitewater rafting guide.

Thomas is an expert on the mental health benefits of green spaces and can communicate this information in a clear and accessible way to a variety of audiences.

Thomas Doherty conducts Disaster Trauma Training Symposium – Baton Rouge, LA

April 19th, 2013


Drs. Nemeth and Ray, organized a symposium featuring Thomas Doherty, PsyD,
ecopsychologist, as a part of the annual meeting of the US Chapter of the World Council for
Psychotherapy on March 22, 2013. This is in fulfilment of WCP’s commitment to disaster
trauma training focusing on environmental trauma

Drs. Nemeth and Ray, organized a symposium featuring Thomas Doherty, PsyD, ecopsychologist, as a part of the annual meeting of the US Chapter of the World Council for Psychotherapy on March 22, 2013. This is in fulfillment of WCP’s commitment to disaster trauma training focusing on environmental trauma.

In his presentation, Dr. Doherty emphasized that the term ecopsychology was coined in the 1990s when people began to explore their connection to the environment. Although Indigenous Peoples long understood this connection, most individuals in Western society had lost sight of this. Yet, this is an extremely important concept in psychotherapy. Dr. Doherty also emphasized, “It is difficult to change behavior even when life depends on it.” This can certainly be seen when dealing with major environmental traumas such as hurricanes. People remain in denial that there will be a problem, want to live as close as possible to the shore line without expecting any trauma, and want to rebuild what they had before even though sustainability is usually not an option.

Although the science is quite clear on these topics, rather than logic, emotionality prevails. Therefore, many topics that must be addressed are often so motionally laden that they bring out tremendous reactions in individuals. These reactions are so severe at times as to preclude any meaningful problem-solving and/or resolution.

Psychological/psychotherapeutic intervention is therefore crucial to reducing the negative valance of science and increasing individual’s willingness to address these problems. Dr.Doherty noted that climate change issues, global warming issues, etc., have underlying social justice components, which people do not wish to address. Psychologists/psychotherapists are in a unique position to address issues that affect people on their level first. This will allow people to feel valued and therefore be open to new ideas  and opportunities. Dr. Doherty’s final comment was “Feelings are like water. If you share them, they go away. If you cover them up, they stay and build.”

Participants were then given two beach-sized balls filled with air, one representing the earth and the other representing a projective opportunity. As these balls were passed around, participants focused on the earth as they knew it and their perceptual experiences. Some focused on change, others focused on trauma, others on sustainability, etc. The group was multi-disciplinary involving natural scientists, social scientists, and interventionists. For example, Dr. Robert Hamilton, a well-known ecologist, focused his comments on the process of change and how few people are prepared to respond to change. He noted that a reaction is not a response. Dr. Robert Muller, a well-known climatologist, focused on the effects of hurricanes and how many individuals do not take the hurricane warnings seriously. This was a problem, for example, in Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. On the Gulf Coast of the United States, people are used to hurricanes and have learned to heed hurricane warnings; whereas on the on New York/New Jersey Coast, the last major hurricane struck in 1938. As there was little institutional knowledge, not only were the people not prepared, but the governments and industries were not prepared.

Dr. Ray spoke about the need to be more environmentally proactive to protect the next generation. Mr. Scott Nesbit, who is in charge of a major ecopsychology project in Louisiana, spoke about the difficulties of achieving concensus so that the best good could be achieved for the greatest number of people. Mr. Nesbit went on to state that, at times, industry goals may be disparate from those that are in the best interest of the people. Dr. Nemeth echoed this view when she brought up the difficulties that are currently occurring at Bayou Korne, which is where a sink hole developed as a result of salt brine production. Dr. Donald Nemeth, geologist, explained the geology of salt domes, their use for the storage of natural gas, oil, etc., and the importance of respecting their boundaries so as not to destroy their stability, which would cause sink holes to form.

With the Bayou Korne situation, people are in great distress and currently in need of mental health intervention. Although this need was pointed out by the recent appearance of Erin Brockovich, now famous for her role in investigating the water contamination by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California, industry and government have still not yet formulated a plan for mental health intervention for the residents of Bayou Korne. This may be a future project for WCP.

The Jungersen, et. al., 2013, article focused on the aftermath of both natural and human caused disasters. Nemeth, Hamilton, Kuriansky, 2013, expanded this to include disasters that are a hybrid of both natural events and human-caused events. Many environmental traumas are in this latter category.

All attendees received a Disaster Trauma Training certificate for 3 hours of continuing education, signed by Drs. Nemeth and Ray.