My Journey as a Citizen Therapist

William J. Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


My story begins with the idealism of humanistic and family systems therapies of the 1970s, followed by disillusionment with making a difference in the larger world, and then the discovery of citizen therapist work. I describe my initial forays into direct community action and then two current projects on major social problems: police relationships with the African American community and political polarization in the Trump era. A key breakthrough along the way was coming to see my role as a citizen professional in a democracy—acting with community members rather than just for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-487
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • collaboration
  • community
  • leadership


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