See what happens when you click on someone's name or picture? You learn far more about them than you could possibly have wanted to know!
You can read about me if you want to...but you'll probably be a lot better off reading about the model for understanding and helping behaviorally challenging kids I originated and described in my books The Explosive Child and Lost at School. So, just in case you don't find the biographical stuff to be riveting, there are lots of links to help you navigate away from this page.
Officially, I'm Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Health Alliance, adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and Senior Lecturer in the school psychology program in the Department of Education at Tufts University. No, I'm not into collecting titles or credentials...just busy trying to educate lots of different people in lots of different fields about the true factors underlying kids' behavioral challenges and helping them solve problems collaboratively. Way more important than the titles is the non-profit organization I founded – called Lives in the Balance – which aims to disseminate my approach through no-cost web-based programming and to provide advocacy and support for behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers. If you haven't visited the Lives in the Balance website yet...well, it's not my place to tell you what to do, but that website is going to do you a whole lot more good than reading about me.
I attended the University of Florida as an undergrad, where I was very lucky to have crossed paths with Dr. Betsy Altmaier, who sparked my interest in psychology (she's now at the University of Iowa). I'm a proud graduate of the clinical psychology program at Virginia Tech, where it was my remarkable good fortune to have had Dr. Tom Ollendick as my mentor and Dr. George Clum as a clinical supervisor. And I completed my psychology internship at Children's Hospital in Washington, DC, where I got lucky again: a psychologist named Mary Ann McCabe and social worker named Lorraine Lougee were among my clinical supervisors there.
I consult extensively to families, general and special education schools, inpatient and residential facilities, and systems of juvenile detention, and have come to know some truly amazing people through this work...people who care deeply about kids with behavioral challenges and are passionate about treating them and their caregivers in ways that are humane, and effective. I also lecture widely throughout the world. My research has been funded by, among others, the Stanley Research Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse/National Institutes of Mental Health, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. I'm very fortunate to be associated with some wonderful and talented colleagues these days: Kim Doheny and Kim Hopkins-Betts, who help me train others in my model; Katie Comtois, who keeps things organized for CPS Initiative; Maura Feheley, who handles order fulfillment for the CPS Store and Care Packages for Lives in the Balance; Sheila Brennan Nee, the Associate Director at Lives in the Balance; Whitney Kimbar, who assists me in the planning of my radio programs; and lots of others who volunteer their time in one way or another.
On the personal side, I grew up in North Miami, Florida. I currently live in Portland, Maine, with my wife, two kids (they're 12 and 15 years old now), and dog (she's 9). Maine is one of my favorite places in the world, and not just because they've embraced my approach in the state's juvenile detention facilities and schools. Southwestern Virginia (that's where Virginia Tech is located) is also high on the list...the view of the Ellett Valley from Tom Ollendick's back deck is quite something, and there aren’t many things in life better than tubing down the New River in the summer (or rafting it further north, where it's not so tame).
If I hadn't become a psychologist, I would have been a musician or teacher. I enjoy hanging out with my family, watching my daughter do various forms of dance, watching my son play hockey, tennis, and basketball, visiting with my 101-year old grandmother, hiking, whitewater rafting, tooling around Casco Bay in my old bowrider, and teaching people about solving problems collaboratively. Sometimes I long for the simpler life I had before I published The Explosive Child, but I'm delighted that it’s been helpful to so many kids and their caregivers.
I'd say that's enough about me, which is good, because I can't think of anything else. Did I mention that you should check out the Lives in the Balance website?