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
Edmonton AB
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.

Featured Publications

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

Major, R. T., Whelton, W. J., & Duff, C. T.

2016 January; 26

Dunn, J.C., Whelton, W.J., & Sharpe, D.

Evolution and Human Behavior. 2012 January; 33

Barford, S., & Whelton, W.J.

Child and Youth Care Forum. 2010 January; 39

Emmerling, M.E., & Whelton, W.J.

Psychotherapy Research. 2009 January; 19

Whelton, W.J., Paulson, B.L., & Marusiak, C.

Counselling Psychology Quarterly. 2007 January; 20

Whelton, W.J. & Greenberg, L.S.

Personality and Individual Differences. 2005 January; 38