Steven James, PhD

Core Faculty

A former trustee of the American Psychological Foundation (APF), James is President Emeritus of American Psychological Association’s (APA) Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues and President Emeritus of the APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues. He has taught at Goddard College since 1993. James was most recently the director of the Psychology and Mental Health Counseling program. Dr. James has previously served as Goddard’s Associate Academic Dean and Interim Chief Academic Officer/Dean.


PhD in Clinical Psychology, Union Institute
AB in Psychology, Dartmouth College
AB in Philosophy, Dartmouth College

Personal Statement

I have been teaching at Goddard since 1993. I left clinical practice to devote my professional efforts to teaching, research, and consulting. My academic interests include: ethnic minority issues, human sexuality and sexual orientation, hospice counseling and death & dying, community psychology, family therapy and mixed-race/adoptive family issues, violence prevention, ethics, qualitative research methods, cultural competency, psychology and films, and gestalt therapy.

My philosophy of teaching centers on a commitment to meet students where they are at in their development as scholars and psychologists, while maintaining a realistic understanding of the demands of the professional marketplace and our profession’s ethics. I am interested in our graduates being license-eligible and being competitive applicants to doctoral programs. I am also interested in our students and graduates being effective agents for improvements in the field of psychology (clinical, community, and educational) and their communities.

My research interests, publications, and grants focus primarily on: community interventions for the prevention of violence against gay and lesbian youths; family systems related to the special issues of gay and lesbian parents and children, adoptive and foster families, and mixed-race families; AIDS and hospice care; and cultural competence in mental health services. I have a personal interest in Native American spiritual practices in mental health.

In addition to consulting to professional organizations and businesses, I have worked as: the clinical director of the Boston Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, the managing partner in two group practices, a trainer for the American Psychological Association in AIDS Psychology, a substance abuse counselor, a mental health counselor in two psychiatric hospitals, and as a counselor to other Peace Corps volunteers in Benin, West Africa. I have served as an Associate Editor for an APA journal, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

I am a former Trustee of the American Psychological Foundation (APF). I am President Emeritus of The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity of the American Psychological Association (APA). I am also President Emeritus of The Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race of the APA. I have experience in APA governance, as a member of the Committee for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns. I am a member of: The American Counseling Association, the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology, The Society of Indian Psychologists, The Society for Couple and Family Psychology (APA Division 43), and the American Association of University Professors. My husband, Todd, and our sons, Greg and Max, live on Cape Cod.

Affiliation BA Psychology
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
MA Psychology

Location Plainfield, Vermont

Role Faculty