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Full Circle Psychology

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    Scott and his wife Joanne, who met as classmates at WC.
January 30, 2014
Renowned psychologist Scott Browning, Ph.D. ‘79 learned more than just the fundamentals of psychology while an undergraduate at WC.

When Scott Browning ’79 thinks back on WC, he recalls “the openness of ideas, the sense of rebellion, scholarship and creativity.” Perhaps nowhere was this spirit more alive than in the labs of Foxwell Hall, home to the psychology department and the place where Scott, a psychology major, spent the majority of his time.

Here, under the guidance of Drs. Berg, Davis, Mergler, and Goldstein, Scott conducted experiments that put him and his classmates at the forefront of psychological research. Scott recalls one class in particular with Dr. Goldstein in which they performed a series of experiments each day: “We would learn about a theorist, actually perform his classic experiment, go to lunch, come back, learn the next theorist challenging the then current position and then do the experiment that disproved the previous experiment.” It was this kind of instruction, Scott says, that demonstrated to him the power of experiential learning. That same year, Dr. Goldstein was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in recognition of his work as a tremendous educator. 

After graduating from WC, Scott earned his M.Ed. from Boston University and his Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, Berkley. Now a professor himself, Scott tries to replicate his mentor’s approach for students in the APA clinical psych program at Chestnut Hill College. “[At WC] I saw firsthand how education, at its best, combines experience and didactics,” Scott explains. With the chance to employ these methods in his own classroom, it is no surprise that Scott received the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, himself, in 2003. Scott’s work focuses on the areas of autism, empathy and stepfamilies. Widely regarded as an expert on topics related to stepfamily life, Scott serves as an expert panelist for the National Stepfamily Resource Center, as well as co-chair of the Stepfamily Interest Group at the American Family Therapy Academy. He is also the author of the book Stepfamily therapy:  A 10-step clinical approach (APA Books; 2011).

Outside of work, Scott continues to adore his WC classmate Joanne Ahearn ’79. The pair met as undergraduates, married post-graduation, had a child and to this day, remain very much in love.  Joanne continued her studies at Boston University, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford. She has persisted in writing, particularly on the life of Joyce, after winning the Sophie Kerr Prize as a senior. 


Last modified on Jan. 30th at 10:21am by Rebekah Hardy.