Rocky Garrison, PhD, LP, CBSM

Adjunct Faculty Member

My original training in Adlerian Psychology was with Rich Kopp when I was in graduate school, 1973 – 1978. He was the chair of my dissertation using early recollections to explore sex role stereotypes. I completed a post graduate certification in Adlerian psychotherapy with Bob Powers and Jane Griffith in 1990. I served as Treasurer of IAIP, am a long-term member of NASAP and have served on their Board of Directors. I was also a board member and President of Oregon Society of Individual Psychology.

My philosophy of teaching emerges out of a broader professional philosophy that was written as a part of my graduate training in psychology and then modified over my professional career. My relationships with students echoes my relationship with clients in many ways. The assumptions that serve as a basis for my professional services are (1) a respect for uniqueness, (2) responsibility and empowerment, and (3) consistency and integration of care.

I believe it is my responsibility as a teacher to create a learning environment that maximizes the likelihood that a diverse range of learners will acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies. I am responsible for creating a learning atmosphere that encourages learners and a course of study that is current, progresses logically, and is suited to the stage of expertise of the learner.

Being a learner requires the “courage for imperfection,” that is, enough comfort with their lack of knowing that they continue to be active in the learning process and engaged with the instructor. The challenge for the teacher is to avoid both pampering and neglect while keeping the learner excited and in motion. I want to infuse into learners a spirit of professionalism and continuous quality improvement, and so I promote a process of self-reflection and self-evaluation. The opportunity to first work on a task, then see how others (including me) have approached the task, and then, finally, to reflect and set personal goals for improvement is a powerful learning cycle.

As well as respecting the uniqueness of each learner, I recognize and honor the distinct qualities of what is being taught. I use teaching strategies tailored to the content I am teaching, with an understanding that applying, rehearsing, and modeling are powerful tools for learning. It is my responsibility to match the content of my teaching to the learner’s level of professional development. I strive for a clear presentation of materials and a logical organization of the course of study. It is my obligation as a teacher to provide up to date and comprehensive resources as a part of my teaching, including resources in addition to the assigned resources.


PhD - California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, CA

MA - California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, CA

BA - University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Email address:
Office address: 
12 SE 14th Ave. Suite 104, Portland, OR 97214
Office Phone: 
Professional Membership: 


Select Publications: 
  • 2013. (with Daniel Eckstein). Ethical considerations involving informed consent in Adlerian open forum counseling. Journal of Individual Psychology, 69, 344-356.
  • 2010. (with Louis Libby). Insomnia treatment: Interdisciplinary collaboration and conceptual integration. Journal of Individual Psychology, 66, 237-252.
  • 2009. (with Daniel Eckstein). Four couples’ sleep satisfaction interviews: Recommendations for improving your nights together. In Eckstein, D. (ed.) Relationship Repair: Activities for Couples Counselors. El Cajon, CA: National Social Science Press.
  • 2008. (with Daniel Eckstein). A Sleep Satisfaction Interview for Couples: Recommendations for Improving Your Nights Together. The Family Journal, 17, 58-63.
  • 2006. Misalliance movements in psychotherapy. Journal of Individual Psychology, 62, 168-179.
  • 2000. (with Joshua Gross). Individual Psychology and group work: Toward an Adlerian group psychotherapy orientation. In Fall, K. & Levitov, J. (eds.). Modern Applications to Group Work. Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  • 1995. (with Kristine Falco). Steps toward a lesbian friendly life-style interview. Journal of Individual Psychology, 51, 129-143.
  • 1995. Misalliance movements in psychotherapy. Canadian Journal of Adlerian Psychology, 24, 20-33.
  • 1992. (with Daniel McKitrick). Theory of supervision outline: A training tool. The Clinical Supervisor, 10, 173-184.
  • 1991. (with Janice Hickerson). Quiet room utilization patterns. Residential Treatment of Children & Youth, 9, 39-50.
Select Presentations: 
  • Idaho Society of Individual Psychology, 2019. Individual Psychology Skills for Enhancing Relationships with Clients. 2 day workshop.
  • NASAP 2018. Core Constructs of Individual Psychology. Half Day Workshop and 1 hr. Presentation. 
  • NASAP 2017. (with Charmaine McIntosh). Forgiveness: A Gemeinschaftsgefuhl Skill. Half Day Workshop.
  • NASAP 2016. Life Style Listening. Half Day Workshop.
  • NASAP 2014. Activating Gemeinschaftsgefuhl. 1 hr. Presentation.
Academic History (higher ed experience): 

Pacific University School of Professional Psychology, Forest Grove, OR