John Weisz, PhD is a professor at Harvard University in the Department of Psychology, expanding his body of research on strategies for improving youth mental health care. Dr. Weisz’s most recent work involves development and testing of trans-diagnostic approaches to youth psychotherapy, including treatment that uses modular design and treatment guided by a small number of broad principles of psychological change.
He was born and raised in Mississippi and received a BA from Mississippi College. Along with his wife, Jenny, he served as a teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya. Dr. Weisz later studied at Yale, where he received a PhD in clinical and developmental psychology. He held faculty positions at Cornell, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at UCLA, where in partnership with several local mental health clinics, he focused on studying youth mental health care in community settings. Those partnerships produced 14 years of research on psychotherapy process and outcome in everyday clinical practice, and multiple randomized trials of cognitive behavioral therapy for youth depression and anxiety. In 2004, Dr. Weisz expanded his partnerships to the state of Massachusetts, where he served for eight years as President and CEO of the Judge Baker Children’s Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. While at Judge Baker, Dr. Weisz accepted numerous academic appointments, and now works full-time as a professor in the Harvard Psychology Department.
Dr. Weisz is especially interested in integrating evidence-based practices with strategies for personalizing treatment to fit individual youth and family characteristics. Weisz’s meta-analyses provide a broad picture of the state of youth psychotherapy research and address specific questions about moderators of psychotherapy benefit. His books include Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents: Evidence-based treatments and case examples (Cambridge University Press) and Evidence-based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents (Co-edited with Alan Kazdin; Guilford Press).