Here are the thinkers who have most shaped my approach to counseling, psychotherapy, and treatment of juvenile offenders over the course of my career.

Jack Presbury – My mentor at James Madison University

Hershel Hensley – An important guide in my life who took me and my wife in during our early 20’s, and who let us renovate a dilapidated farmhouse on his property in the Shenandoah Valley, VA to live in and raise my oldest daughter, Ellen.

Alan Watts – a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.

Jean Paul Sarte – a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.

Ram Dass – an American spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal 1971 book Be Here Now.

John Prine – although he never worked in the field, he is one of the greatest psychologists to ever live.  Here he is singing a song he wrote about post traumatic stress disorder long before the Diagnostic Statistics Manual ever catalogued the diagnosis.

B.F. Skinner – an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher.

Albert Camus – a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom.

Virginia Satir – an American author and social worker, known especially for her approach to family therapy and her work with family reconstruction. She is widely regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy” Her most well-known books are Conjoint Family Therapy, 1964, Peoplemaking, 1972, and The New Peoplemaking, 1988.

William Glasser – a American psychiatrist. Glasser was the developer of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory. His ideas, which focus on personal choice, personal responsibility and personal transformation, are considered controversial by mainstream psychiatrists, who focus instead on classifying psychiatric syndromes as “illnesses”, and who often prescribe psychotropic medications to treat mental disorders. Glasser was also notable for applying his theories to broader social issues, such as education, management, and marriage, to name a few. Glasser notably deviated from conventional psychiatrists by warning the general public about the potential detriments caused by the profession of psychiatry in its traditional form because of the common goal to diagnose a patient with a mental illness and prescribe medications to treat the particular illness when, in fact, the patient may simply be acting out of unhappiness, not a brain disorder.

Carl Rogers – one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy

Salvadore Minuchin – A family therapist born and raised in San Salvador, Entre Ríos, Argentina. He developed structural family therapy, which addresses problems within a family by charting the relationships between family members, or between subsets of family. These charts represent power dynamics as well as the boundaries between different subsystems. The therapist tries to disrupt dysfunctional relationships within the family, and cause them to settle back into a healthier pattern.

Frank Eskro – A high school friend who was a cornerstone in my adolescent development. See essays for his story.

Many descriptions taken from Wikipedia.