I was born and reared in Mississippi and received a BA from Mississippi College, in my home town of Clinton. Jenny Graves, a graduate of Blue Mountain College (also in Mississippi), and I were married a few months after graduating. We served together in the Peace Corps, as teachers in Kenya. Our first child was born in Nairobi. After three years in Kenya, we returned to New Haven, where our second child was born, and I completed work on a Ph.D. from Yale, with an emphasis on clinical and developmental psychology. My first faculty position was at Cornell, where Jenny attended law school and received her JD.
We moved next to Chapel Hill, NC, where I joined the clinical psychology faculty at the University of North Carolina. It was here that I developed a strong interest in studying child and adolescent mental health care, in research settings and clinical service settings. My students and I carried out research on the process and outcomes of clinical care in community practice settings, and we conducted meta-analyses of treatment outcome research. This work continued when my family moved to Los Angeles and I joined the clinical psychology faculty at UCLA. In Los Angeles, Jenny led the program on children's rights at Public Counsel, a large public interest law firm. During those years, Jenny and I adopted two wonderful children. On the research front, my students and I formed partnerships with community mental health centers throughout Los Angeles County. In those settings we conducted more than a decade of research on treatment process and outcome in everyday clinic practice, and we carried out randomized trials of cognitive behavioral therapy for youth depression and anxiety, with treatment provided by community clinicians trained by our team. Our work expanded with the development of the Research Network on Youth Mental Health, which I directed from 2001-2012. As Network Director, I was privileged to plan research and interpret findings with some remarkable colleagues from around the nation, who share an ongoing interest in bringing science and practice together to improve mental health care for children.
Efforts to build research partnerships broadened with our move to Massachusetts in 2004. In addition to serving as a Professor in the Harvard Psychology Department, I am a Professor at Harvard Medical School, and I served for eight years as President and CEO of the Judge Baker Children's Center, an affiliate of the Medical School. Jenny directs the Court Improvement Program in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, with a focus on improving judicial processes for youths and families in the child welfare system, and she teaches at Tufts University. The research I began in Los Angeles has expanded here, encompassing a network of community mental health clinics and schools in the greater Boston area, and extending to an excellent network of partners in other New England States, as well as New Zealand and Norway. In these settings, my research team carries out randomized effectiveness trials and research on sustainability. Our work focuses on developing and testing strategies for implementing and sustaining evidence-based interventions within everyday clinical care and educational settings for children and adolescents. Our broad goal is to find effective ways to put science into practice, to improve the mental health of children and teens.