College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Thomas Skovholt

  • Professor Emeritus

Thomas Skovholt

Areas of interest

  • Resiliency development and burnout prevention
  • Struggles of the novice practitioner, clinical supervision
  • Mastery and expertise in the helping professions, education and health care
  • The counseling process and helping skills

B. A. St. Olaf College, History/Psychology
M. Ed. University of Missouri, Counseling Psychology
Ph. D. University of Missouri, Counseling Psychology (APA-Approved Program)
Psychology Internship, Counseling Services, University of Missouri (APA-Approved Internship)

Licensed Psychologist, Florida (1977)
Licensed Psychologist, Minnesota (1978-present)
Board Certified in Counseling Psychology, American Board of 
Professional Psychology (1984-present) 
Over 16, 000 hours of clinical practice, consultation, and clinical supervision (1971-present)

  • Morse-Alumni Distinguisher Teaching Professor
  • University of Minnesota and Associate Member
  • Faculty in Professional Relations University of Stavanger
  • Norway Part-Time Psychology Practitioner
  • Maplewood Psychology Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified
  • ABPP Fellow
  • APA and American Academy of Co. Psychology
  • Fulbright Professor
  • Publication Award, Association for Counselor Education & Supervision for Master Therapists
  • Master Therapists translated into Korean

I feel fortunate to have a career in counseling psychology, one of the broadest of the applied psychology specialties. During my time in psychology, the field has grown in importance and has been applied to more and more human development areas. At the same time, the research supporting the power of counseling and therapy has grown and the stigma related to seeking help has gone down. Every day the counseling relationship, and related activities of consulting, clinical supervision and coaching are being used thousands of times, throughout the world, to help people. What a terrific field to be in!

My career focus is divided into a triangle, each feeding and strengthening the other two: a) teaching and advising b) research and writing c) practice as a psychologist. I have done some administration such as being Counseling Program Coordinator and Training Director for 12 years. However, during my career, I have chosen to focus on a, b and c above. Together, this triangle has been very engaging.

Thus far, I have had 34 Ph.D. advisees who have graduated; what a privilege it has been to work with these students and current ones too. And the students in my classes have been eager and engaged – a teacher’s delight.

The world of clients is one guarded by confidentiality. However, the intensity of the counseling relationship has given me the opportunity to try to reduce human suffering and increase human coping. It has been an honor to be in the counselor/therapist role.

My research in recent years has focused on writing books and making presentations on two topics:

  1. Practitioner Resiliency in the relationship-intense professions. These professions include counselors, therapists and social workers; teachers and professors; academic advisors; physicians, nurses and other health care providers; clergy; family law attorneys and other fields where professional caring for others is core to the work.
  2. Professional development, mastery and expertise in these fields

Skovholt, T.M. & Jennings, L. (Eds.) (2017). Master therapists: Exploring expertise in therapy and counseling. (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. (Note: Preface and Epilog are the additions to the 2004 publication )

Skovholt, T. M. and Trotter-Mathison, M. (2016). The resilient practitioner: Burnout and compassion fatigue prevention and self-care strategies for the helping professions. (3rdEd.)  New York: Routledge.

Jennings, L. & Skovholt, T. M. (Eds.) (2016). Expertise in counseling and therapy: Master therapist studies from around the world . New York: Oxford University Press. 

Ronnestad, M. H. and Skovholt, T. M. (2013) The developing practitioner: Growth and stagnation of therapists and counselors. New York: Routledge. 

Skovholt, T. M. (2012). Becoming a therapist: On the path to mastery. New York: John Wiley and Sons

 Skovholt, T. M. (2011). Skovholt Practitioner Professional Resiliency and Self-Care Inventory In Skovholt, T. M. and Trotter-Mathison, M. The resilient  practitioner:  Burnout prevention and self-care strategies for therapists, counselors,  teachers, and health professionals. Second Edition. ( xxi-xxiv) New York: Routledge. 

Skovholt, T. M. and Trotter-Mathison, M. (2011). The resilient practitioner:  Burnout prevention and self-care strategies for therapists, counselors, teachers, and health professionals. Second Edition. New York: Routledge. 

Trotter-Mathison, M., Koch, J., Sanger, S. and Skovholt, T. (2010). Voices from the field: Defining moments in counselor and therapist development. New York: Routledge

Skovholt, T.M., & Rivers, D. (2007). Helping skills and strategies. Denver, CO: Love Publishing Co.

Schank, J., & Skovholt, T.M. (2006). Ethics in small communities: Challenges and rewards for psychologists. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Skovholt, T. M., & Jennings, L. (Eds.) (2004). Master therapists: Exploring expertise in therapy and counseling. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.