Roger Thomson, Ph.D.

Roger Thomson, Ph.D.

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"Both psychotherapy and mindfulness help us encounter our lives with purpose, curiosity, and joy. In the middle of emotional stresses, that positive energy can seem out of reach, but I believe that all of us, at any time, can take a significant step in that direction. To take that step, again and again, with gentle perseverance, will create a path toward well being and satisfaction."

"I am interested in working together to find that path. My style of therapy is interactive and collaborative, emphasizing both insight and action. Together we will develop the understanding and openness which is at the heart of constructive change. It is only by turning toward ourselves, our relationships, and yes, even our difficulties, that we find the most skillful response to them. In our therapy sessions, we will make a mutual effort to contact the source of acceptance, awareness, and health that resides in each one of us."

- Roger Thomson, Ph.D.

Profile

Roger Thomson, Co-director of Integrative Health Partners, received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. With over 30 years experience, he is expert in treating a wide range of problems, with special interests in helping people with anxiety, chronic pain and other medical problems, and marital problems. Personal and executive coaching is also one of his specialties. He has been on the faculty of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine since 1986, and for two decades he was the Director of Training at the Counseling Center of Fourth Presbyterian Church. Dr. Thomson has written and lectured on mindfulness in the practice of psychotherapy.

In addition to being a psychologist, Dr. Thomson is also a Soto Zen Buddhist priest. He received dharma transmission from Rev. Shoken Winecoff, Abbot of Ryumonji Zen Monastery, and he is a teacher in the lineage of Dainin Katagiri Roshi. His sangha in Chicago is called the Chicago Zen Meditation Community, which meets at 30 N Michigan and in Lincoln Park, and is sponsored in part by Integrative Health Partners.

Practice Information

  • Specialities: Anxiety, Stress, Life Changes, Problems associated with medical illness
  • Services: Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy (including ACT and MBCT), Couples Therapy, and Executive Coaching. Mindfulness trainings and workshops.
  • Professional Memberships: American Psychological Association, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, Soto Zen Buddhist Association.
  • Insurance Networks: Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO
  • Licensure: Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Publications



A review of Psychology Moment by Moment: A Guide to Enhancing Your Clinical Practice With Mindfulness and Meditationby Elise E. Labbé (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2011).

A review of The Zen Impulse and the Psychoanalytic Encounter by Paul C. Cooper (New York: Routledge, 2010).

A review of Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism by Andrew Olendzki (Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2010).

Zen meditation, or zazen, has attracted the interest of many psychotherapists. The teachings and practices of the Soto Zen tradition are understood as encouraging important areas of both psychological and spiritual development. Zen, like the relational psychoanalytic theories, encourages its practitioners to become aware of the fundamentally distorted aspects of an overly individualistic view of human experience. As a spiritual practice, zazen increases the practitioner’s tolerance of the Wholeness that Buddhists refer to as Emptiness. As a psychological practice, it helps us to be more flexibly and intimately present with our patients. An effective therapeutic process, even of the most secular type, will often contain elements of the meditative process of zazen, and failure to actualize this in psychotherapy can have a negative impact on our ability to understand and help our patients.

Kwok, Yenni (2005). “Head Space” (an interview with Roger Thomson). South China Morning Post, July 15, 2005.

Barbour, Cary (2001). “The Science of Meditation” (an interview with Roger Thomson). Psychology Today, May/June 2001.