Thomas Doherty, Psy.D. is a clinical and environmental psychologist based in Portland, Oregon, USA with multiple publications on nature-based therapies, the restorative effects of outdoor experiences, and the mental health impacts of climate change. His groundbreaking paper “The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change” co-authored with Susan Clayton, has been cited over 600 times. Dr. Doherty is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Past President of the Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology, a past member of the APA Task force on Global Climate Change and the Founding Editor of the journal Ecopsychology. He also founded and directed the Ecopsychology Certificate program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School, where he educated mental health counselors and therapists in outdoor and nature-based therapies. Dr. Doherty is unique in that he combines experiences providing outdoor therapy, practicing as a licensed clinical psychologist, and being a social science scholar and researcher. Dr. Doherty has directed and run his own therapy and counseling practice, Sustainable Self, since 2004.

“Early in my career, I realized that issues regarding the natural environment were important for mental health and therapy disciplines, and I have held space for this for many years, as the general public and the professions have caught up.

In my consultation work, I draw on a wealth of my unique personal experiences, from my working-class upbringing in Western New York, to my classics focused education at Columbia University, and my early career work as a professional fisherman in Alaska, a river guide in the Grand Canyon, and youth leader on a therapeutic wagon train travelling the American West with inner city teens. I integrate my doctoral training in mindfulness meditation and behavioral medicine at the UMass medical School, and dissertation research on treating anxiety and depression in cardiac rehabilitation patients. I also reflect on my formative research experiences with noted environmental psychology scholars on the American Psychological Association’s first Climate Change Task Force and with the founding of the Ecopsychology journal.” 

— Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.


Harper, N. & Doherty T. J. (2020) An Introduction to Outdoor Therapies in N. J. Harper & W. W. Dobud (Eds.). Outdoor Therapies: An Introduction to Practices, Possibilities, and Critical Perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Doherty, T. J. (2016). Theoretical and Empirical Foundations for Ecotherapy. In M. Jordan & J. Hinds (Eds.). Ecotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice. London: Palgrave

Doherty, T. J. & Chen, A. (2016). Improving Human Functioning: Ecotherapy and Environmental Health Approaches. In R. Gifford (Ed.). Research Methods in Environmental Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

Doherty, T. J. & Clayton, S. (2011). The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change. American Psychologist, 66, 265–276

Writings for the General Public


Articles, Webinars and Podcasts

Continuing education article quoting Dr. Thomas Doherty: Addressing climate change concerns in practice, Monitor on Psychology March 1, 2021

Articles, Webinars and Podcasts

American Psychological Association Speaking of Psychology Podcast (April 22, 2021): How to cope with climate anxiety, with Thomas Doherty, PsyD, and Ashlee Cunsolo, PhD

Webinar “Nature, Climate Change and Mental Health” American Psychological Association Psychologist’s Toolbox, October 15, 2020

Webinar: Moving Forward, Staying Grounded: A Mental Health Toolbox for Climate-Concerned Parents & Activists — Families for a Livable Climate 10/29/20

Coach’s Circle Podcast: How Dr. Thomas Doherty weaves a focus on nature and climate change into therapy and coaching