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David Hershenson Ph.D., CRC

Protrait of David Hershenson


David Hershenson's life history corroborates two theories: Giambattista Vico's (1744) theory that history repeats itself in a pattern of progressive cycles and the accident theory of career development. David was born in Brookline, MA. Exactly 72 years and one day later, he and his wife Marian moved into a condominium three blocks from his birthplace, thereby completing a cycle that would have warmed Vico's heart. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he majored in medieval English literature without considering its limited career potential. Consequently, he ended up in a doctoral program in counseling psychology at Boston University, focusing on career development. While on a VA traineeship, one of his faculty mentors was Prof. Tamara Dembo of Clark University, from whom he learned about the psychology of disability and about Kurt Lewin's topological psychology.

While completing his dissertation, he worked in the counseling center at the University of Buffalo. At a faculty party he met Dr. Marceline Jaques, the director of the campus rehabilitation counselor education program (RCEP). From this chance encounter, he learned of the existence of rehabilitation counseling as a field (essentially involving what he had done as a VA trainee). Upon completing his Ph.D., he sought a teaching job and so moved to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1965. Given what he had learned from Dr. Jaques, he immediately applied for federal funding to establish an RCEP at IIT. Fortuitously, that was the year in which the 1965 Vocational Rehab Act Amendments greatly expanded funding for new RCEPs. Getting funded and getting tenure were amazingly reinforcing, leading to his subsequent 42 year career in rehabilitation counselor education.

The location of IIT on the south side of Chicago inevitably led him to focus on applying rehab counseling to diverse populations in urban communities. At the same time, his early interests in career development became focused on the development of work adjustment in persons with disabilities. These two topics remained principal areas of interest throughout his research career. In the early 1980s, he added the theme of developing a unique, identifiable theory base for the field of rehabilitation counseling.

After directing the RCEP at IIT from 1966 to 1973, he chaired the psychology department until 1977. For the next five years, he returned to Boston University as dean of the school of allied health. From 1982 to 2003, he was on the faculty of the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland, as department chair from 1982 to 1990 and thereafter as director of the doctoral program in counselor education. Throughout all of these appointments, he taught in the institution's RCEP. Since becoming professor emeritus at Maryland in 2003 and moving back to Boston, he has taught part-time in the RCEP at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

He has authored or co-authored three books, 20 chapters in edited books, and about 70 articles in refereed journals. He has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Rehabilitation Research Review, Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, and on the editorial board of Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin for periods during each of the past five decades. He served on the boards of Goodwill Industries of Cook County, IL, and Morgan Memorial Goodwill of Boston. He was a member of the first Maryland State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. He was president of the Illinois Rehabilitation Counseling Association and ARCA representative on the Governing Council of the American Counseling Association. He is currently on the steering committee to establish an International Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

His principal honors include the James F. Garrett Award for a Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research (2001), ARCA Distinguished Professional Award (1988), and election as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (1987). In 1989, he received a World Rehabilitation Fund fellowship to Australia. He is a CRC.

Since returning to Boston, he and Marian (who was his college classmate) have completed yet another Viconian cycle by returning to Harvard to participate in the senior learning program, where they offer a course on the history of Japanese garden design. They continue to travel fairly extensively. David's other pursuits include photography, the history of counseling, visiting art museums, and watching the World Series when the Red Sox are winning.

Hershenson Interviews:

1. Growing up Harvard(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

2. Editing to Grad School(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

3. Boston University and the VA (MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

4. Mentors and the Dissertation(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

5. IIT from Start to Tenure(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

6. Developing Theory(MP3音频) (Boston, July, 2008).

7. Model Research at IIT(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008).

8. Boston Redux(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008)

9. Maryland(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008)

10. Boston and Beyond(MP3音频) (Boston, July 2008)

11. Hershenson on Hershenson(MP3音频) (conclusion; Boston, July 2008)

Documents of Interest
Hershenson, D.B. (1967). The community-centered counselor. Rehabilitation Record, 8, 6-7.