J. Fraser Pierson, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Office: EP 204
BA, 1974, MEd, 1976, Florida Atlantic University PhD, 1984, University of Georgia.
J. Fraser Pierson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Oregon, National Certified Counselor (NCC), and professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University (SOU) where she teaches a variety of undergraduate courses and graduate courses within the nationally accredited Mental Health Counseling (MHC) program. Her scholarly interests include counselor preparation and training; women's self-and-world view transformations associated with participation in adventurous sports, particularly recreational sailing; the personal meanings derived from experiences of awe in the natural world; and the human-animal bond. The humanistic and existential (EH) perspectives have long inspired and informed her work as a psychotherapist, educator, and clinical supervisor.
Dr. Pierson coedited (with Schneider and Bugental) the first (2001) and second (2014) editions of The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology: Leading Edges in Theory, Research, and Practice; contributed a piece, “The Awe of Natural Living,” to Awakening to Awe (edited by Schneider, 2009); interviewed James Hillman for The Archetypal Psychology and Psychotherapy Series (www.psychotherapy.net, 2008); regularly presents on topics pertaining to mental health counseling from an existential-humanistic integrative perspective; is on the editorial board of The Journal of Humanistic Psychology; and is on the advisory board for the Existential-Humanistic Institute.
She completed her doctoral work at the University of Georgia and an APA approved internship at the Student Counseling Services, Iowa State University. Prior to coming to SOU she served as a counseling psychologist at the University of West Florida’s student counseling center and a counselor-assistant professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Significant in Dr. Pierson’s post-doctoral training was the opportunity to study with James F. T. Bugental, Ph.D., world renowned existential-humanistic psychologist. She participated in Jim’s Art of the Psychotherapist series of intensive 5-day workshops and for several years, in his monthly case consultation groups. Fraser continues to meet yearly for intensive EH oriented training through the Arts Omega group; a group of colleagues from across the U.S. and Canada who studied with Jim or are influenced by his work. In addition, she regularly attends continuing education programs on an extensive array of topics pertaining to counseling and psychotherapy.
Dr. Pierson's current course repertoire at SOU includes the following: Humanistic Psychology (PSY 414/514), Human Sexuality (PSY 369), Personal & Social Adjustment (PSY 316), The Helping Relationship (COUN 502), the Psychology of Careers (COUN 549), Group Counseling (COUN 574), and Supervision (COUN 510). She also serves as the clinical coordinator for the MHC graduate program.
A naturalist and mariner by avocation, Fraser enjoys coastal sailing, kayaking, exploring the Pacific Northwest forests and beaches, adventure travel, and other kinds of "deep play" with her husband and their four-footed family members.
Professional memberships include the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Oregon Counseling Association. Professional affiliations include the Existential-Humanistic Institute (www.ehinstitute.org) in San Francisco and Existential-Humanistic Northwest (www.ehnorthwest.org) in Portland.