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About/Bio

James M. Siwy, Ph.D.
Biographical Background

I was born and raised in the Chicago area, where I graduated from public high school and then attended Harvard College in Cambridge, MA. At Harvard I served as the Co-Director of a peer counseling service. I completed an honors thesis and earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Psychology & Social Relations. I also had a minor concentration in East Asian Studies. I participated in volunteer programs at a mental health center and a halfway house for intellectually disabled men. In addition, I played rugby, studied Tai Chi, participated in intramural sports, served in student government and was a leader in a student cooperative. During the summers and on a leave of absence from school I worked as an aide in the ICU of Forest Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in Des Plaines, IL and served as a summer mental health intern at The Psychiatric Institute in Washington, DC. For adventure, I hitchhiked and traveled around the country and took a bicycle trip from Mississippi to Central America.

I received my graduate training in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Besides standard supervised training in psychotherapy and psychological assessment, I worked for two years as a trainee at the Gainesville VA Hospital. With primary training in clinical psychology and a minor in religion, I obtained a master’s degree and then a doctoral degree in 1984. My doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Clinical Judgment and The Use of Psychological Reports.” I completed a one-year internship at Hall-Brooke Hospital in Westport, CT.

Moving to Atlanta immediately after graduation, I became a licensed Psychologist and obtained a position in private practice at the Atlanta Counseling Center. My work included individual, marital and group psychotherapies, as well as psychological assessment and psychoeducational seminars. I was affiliated with several psychiatric hospital programs, including Ridgeview Institute and Peachford Hospital, where I served on the Psychologist Committee. I became a clinical supervisor and adjunct faculty for the Psychological Studies Institute (PSI), which is a graduate program in Christian counseling. PSI is now Richmont Graduate University. I still serve as a supervisor and I teach group counseling.

After thirteen years at the Atlanta Counseling Center, I moved my practice to Duluth, GA, where I was the Director and co-owner of Counseling at Gwinnett Place, also an outpatient private practice. Since 2003, my practice has been in the offices of Family Counseling Associates in Roswell, GA, which is where my family and I have lived since 1986. I continue to work with adults and adolescents, specializing in individual and group psychotherapies and psychological assessment. Part of this work includes therapeutic assessment, which transforms psychological testing into a short-term therapy. I have been presenting workshops on therapeutic assessment to professional organizations. Special interests include mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder) and working with men. My work also involves “spiritually sensitive psychotherapy” for Christians whose faith is central to their lives.

I have been active in a number of professional organizations, including long time membership in the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality Assessment, the International Rorschach Society, the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS). I served as the Southeast Director of CAPS and have been the President of the Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Society. I also am a member of the new Society for Christian Psychology.

I have published articles and book reviews in the Journal of Psychology & Theology, the Journal of Psychology & Christianity and Edification (forthcoming). These reflect my abiding interest in soul care and the consideration of contemporary psychology from a Christian point of view. I have been active in local church life, including serving as an elder and going on a mission trip to Croatia, where I taught introductory psychology at a seminary and served in a refugee camp for displaced Bosnians.

My wife, Janet, and I have been married since 1981, and have three children, currently in medical school, college and high school. Janet is a high school English teacher and also works with talented and gifted students. I enjoy sports, reading, writing and the blessings of family life. I particularly am drawn to the world of ideas and matters of the spirit and heart. Although my education and training were in secular settings, I have come to regard psychological issues as having an underlying spiritual basis, which is why I now regard my work as soul care.

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2-3)