William Whelton

Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept


Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
(780) 492-7979
6-123G Education Centre - North
8730 - 112 St NW
T6G 2G5



Theoretical Orientation

My theoretical orientation to psychotherapy is firmly rooted in the humanistic and experiential tradition that goes back to Rollo May and Carl Rogers. This tradition encompasses, for example, Person-Centered, Gestalt, Existential and Emotion Focused (EFT) approaches to therapy. I am also integrative and recognize and use many excellent interventions developed within other traditions. I have advanced training in both EFT and Relational Gestalt therapies.


My interests focus mostly on issues of process and outcome in psychotherapy. I am particularly interested in the role that emotion plays in successful therapy and, more generally, in the process of change itself. Humanistic, experiential, and existential approaches to therapy are of special interest. Another interest is in how certain personality traits, especially self-criticism understood as a trait conferring vulnerability to depression, interact with therapy processes such as the formation of a working alliance. I have recently done research on adaptive and maladaptive forms of self-criticism and my interest in self-criticism dovetails with a larger, more theoretical interest in the nature of the self. Techniques and processes for changing the self in therapy flow from one's conception of the self. I am also very interested in the history of psychology.


EDPY 630B - Counselling Psychology Internship

Students in the Doctoral Counselling Program must successfully complete a 1,600 hour internship accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (or equivalent). Students must complete pre-session study seminars related to the internship application process, interviewing skills, and ranking of internship sites/decision making. Students are expected to participate in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) matching process. Prerequisites: Consent of Department, completion of required coursework and completion of doctoral candidacy exam.

Winter Term 2023 Winter Term 2023

EDPY 632 - History and Systems of Psychology

Provides a historical examination of the philosophical and scientific development of the discipline of psychology. Priority given to PhD students enrolled in the Counselling Psychology program.

Winter Term 2023

EDPY 634 - Advanced Counselling Practicum

This doctoral level Practicum is a continuation of EDPY 633, prerequisite: EDPY 633.

Winter Term 2023 Winter Term 2023 Winter Term 2023

Browse more courses taught by William Whelton


Secure your buffers or stare at the sun? Terror management theory and psychotherapy integration.

Author(s): Major, R. T., Whelton, W. J., & Duff, C. T.
Publication Date: 2016
Volume: 26
Page Numbers: 22-35

Retreating to safety: Testing the social risk hypothesis model of depression

Author(s): Dunn, J.C., Whelton, W.J., & Sharpe, D.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Evolution and Human Behavior
Volume: 33
Page Numbers: 746-758

Understanding burnout in child and youth care workers

Author(s): Barford, S., & Whelton, W.J.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Child and Youth Care Forum
Volume: 39
Page Numbers: 271-287

Stages of change and the working alliance in psychotherapy

Author(s): Emmerling, M.E., & Whelton, W.J.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Psychotherapy Research
Volume: 19
Page Numbers: 687-698

Self-criticism and the therapeutic relationship

Author(s): Whelton, W.J., Paulson, B.L., & Marusiak, C.
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Volume: 20
Page Numbers: 135-148

Emotion in self-criticism

Author(s): Whelton, W.J. & Greenberg, L.S.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Personality and Individual Differences
Volume: 38
Page Numbers: 1583-1595