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Faculty Profile

John Thoburn

John​ Thoburn

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Email: thoburn@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2908
Office: Marston 104


Education: BA, University of Kansas, 1976; MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1984; PhD, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, 1991. At SPU since 1996.

Dr. John Thoburn is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Washington, and board certified in couple and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

He is past president of the Society for Family Psychology, Division 43, of the American Psychological Association (APA), and past president of the American Academy of Couple and Family Psychology, a specialty of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a past trustee on the board of trustees of the American Board of Professional Psychology and is currently the president of the International Academy of Family Psychology.

Dr. Thoburn has been a featured speaker, trainer, and clinician in the areas of trauma and disaster and international family psychology. His international training and teaching in disaster and family psychology have included time in Uganda, Bosnia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Jordan, Haiti, Jamaica, and Japan. He has received the Florence Kaslow Distinguished Contribution to International Family Psychology award, the Family Psychologist of the Year award from the Society for Couple and Family Psychology, and the International Humanitarian award from the American Psychological Association.


​Selected publications

Thoburn, J.W. & Sexton, T.L. (2016). Family Psychology: Theory, Research, and Practice. Westport CT: Praeger Press.

Thoburn, J.W., Carlile. J. & Clark, N. A (2014). Systems Approach to International Disaster Psychology. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. 25,1, 1-14. doi:10.1080/08975353.2014.910030.

Thoburn, J.W. & Lucas, H.L. (2013). Evidence based practice in couple and family psychology. The Specialist, 32, 2, 29–36.

Thoburn, J.W., Bentley, Jacob A., Ahmad, Z.S. & Jones, K.C. (2012). International disaster psychology ethics: A social justice model imbedded in a systems paradigm. Traumatology, 18, 4, 79–85.

Thoburn, J.W. & Baker, R., eds. (2011). Clergy sexual misconduct: A systems approach to prevention, intervention, and oversight. Carefree, Arizona: Gentle Path Press.

Thoburn, J.W. & Baker, R. (2011). Systems, ecology, and clergy sexual misconduct. In Thoburn, J.W. & Baker, R. (Eds). Clergy sexual misconduct: A systems approach to prevention, intervention and oversight. Carefree, Arizona: Gentle Path Press, 3–22.

Thoburn, J.W., Hoffman-Robinson, G., Shelley, L. & Sayre, G. (2009). Collaborative treatment for the psychosomatic couple. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 17, (1) 6–13.

Please view Dr. Thoburn’s CV (PDF) for additional publications.

John Thoburn

Why I Teach at SPU

John Thoburn, Professor of Clinical Psychology

“The Clinical Psychology program is a true scientist-practitioner model emphasizing a reciprocal relationship between science and art, research and practice, content and process.”

Interpersonal Research Vertical Team

Dr. Thoburn mentors a team of doctoral students on his Interpersonal Research Vertical Team (RVT). The RVT focuses on the nexus of intrapersonal and interpersonal factors in relationships, within a systems paradigm. The work is rooted in clinical experience, a family psychology paradigm, and an interpersonal model.

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