Upon my retirement in August of 2017, I had been practicing as a licensed psychologist with children, adolescents, and adults and couples and families for thirty plus years. I held a variety of teaching, supervisory, and management positions in the field, but for approximately the last twenty-five years of my work I primarily worked as a practitioner, supervisor, and teacher. With my retirement, I resigned from my appointment as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford Medical School. At Stanford, I was a member of the Core Faculty for the Child Psychiatry Training Program (through 2001) and through 2017 continued to teach and supervise pre and postdoctoral psychology trainees as well as psychiatry fellows from various medical school training programs. From 1989 through 2011 I was also affiliated with the Mental Research Institute (MRI) , one of the original centers for research and training in family and brief psychotherapy. At MRI, I held a variety of positions, including Research Associate, Director of the MRI Clinic, Director of the Narrative Therapy Externship, and Director of Continuing Education.

My research, publications, and conference presentations span the areas of children and divorce, gender and power in couples psychotherapy, approaches to couples and family therapy, family therapy training, and family therapy theory. In the last few years prior to my retirement, I presented workshops for mental health professionals on evidenced based treatments for couples and families. These workshops review the empirical evidence for the effectiveness of different approaches to different problems; that is, what works for whom and with what problems. Over the past twenty-five years I have presented at conferences and workshops throughout the US and Canada.

I am a member of the American Psychological Association, the California State Psychological Association, and the American Family Therapy Academy. From 1984 through 2008, I was a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.


I received a bachelor’s degree at U.C. Berkeley and my graduate and post-graduate psychology training in the Cambridge/Boston area. I received an M.A. degree in Child Study at Tufts University and my Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University. While enrolled in my doctoral psychology program I completed two formal pre-doctoral internships in clinical psychology: One at the Cambridge Guidance Center and a second in the Westborough State Hospital/Framingham Youth Guidance Center Training Program. The first internship focused on work with children, adolescents, and families and the second internship emphasized work with both severely disturbed adults (Westborough State Hospital) and the range of problems children and families presented at a community mental health center (Framingham Youth Guidance Center). During my years in Boston, I also completed five years of advanced training in couples and family therapy at the Family Institute of Cambridge.

Following the completion of my PhD I returned to California and worked with adults at the Stanford University Employee Assistance Program for a year. I then returned to Boston for a three year Post-Graduate Fellowship in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. During this period I also taught family therapy and held the position of Director of Child and Adolescent Services at The Family Center, a non-profit community agency in Somerville, Massachusetts. The Family Center was created to develop innovative services for low income families and to train mental health professionals to work effectively with this population. I returned to California in 1987 to become the president of a training program in family therapy. I have been affiliated with Stanford Medical School since 1989 and was affiliated with the Mental Research Institute from 1987 until 2011.


With retirement I no longer have an office nor work with clients. If you need to contact me, email (johnhnealphd@gmail.com) is best.


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