River Farrell, PsyD

Photo of River Farrell, PsyD

River Farrell, PsyD

Core Faculty

Office phone: 248.476.1122 ext.139
Email: [email protected] 

Dr. Farrell has been a clinical psychologist providing direct client care since graduating in 2008. They joined MSP as an adjunct faculty member in 2016 and became a member of the core faculty in 2022.  They have focused on the treatment of Gender and Sexual Minority clients across a variety of settings and have given multiple presentations on related topics. They themselves are part of the gender and sexual minority community as a non-binary queer individual.

Education

  • PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • MA in Clinical Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • BS in Psychology Clarkson University

Licensure

  • Licensed Psychologist – Michigan

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender Identity Development
  • Therapy with Gender Diverse Youth
  • Therapy with Gender and Sexual minority Clients
  • Consensual Non Monogamy

Selected Presentations

  • May, M. & Farrell, M. (2021, July) ACTing Queer: The Psychological Flexibility Model as a navigational framework for LGBTQ-identified clinicians. Workshop presented at Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference 19, Virtual.
  • Farrell, M. (2021 October) Parent Workshop: Coming out to family. Presented at Stand with Trans
  • Farrell, M. & May, M. (2020, July) ACTing Queer: The Psychological Flexibility Model as a navigational framework for LGBTQ-identified clinicians. Workshop presented at Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference 18, Virtual.

Selected Publications

  • Farrell, R. (2022) Polyam Affect: Working with emotions in CNM. In Vaughan, M.D., & Burnes, T.R., The Handbook of Consensual Non-Monogamy Affirming Mental health Practice (pp. 74-96).

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association
    • Division 44 (Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity)
  • Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
    • Gender and Sexual Diversity Special Interest Group
    • Children, Adolescents and Families Special Interest Group

Q&A

  • Describe your research interests.

I am interested in doing research to fill a number of gaps in the literature around Gender and Sexuality. I am particularly interested in bringing attention to the experience of gender and sexual minorities including asexual individuals, non-binary individuals, and queer identified individuals who practice consensual non-monogamy. Further, I am interested in the formation of gender identity in early childhood and adolescence as well as best practices for therapy with families who have a trans or gender non-conforming child.

  • Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?

I chose to enter the field of psychology for the most basic of reasons, to better understand and help people. From an early age (my first recollection of wanting to be a psychologist was in the seventh grade) I recognized that I want to help people who are struggling emotionally and that I would need a lot more information to do that successfully. I now know that to provide the best help possible to the world the learning never stops. Having contributed to the field as a therapist I am very excited to be going back to doing research and hope to help even more people by furthering our understanding of how to help people more effectively.  

  • Please describe your teaching philosophy.

To help my students, achieve an understanding and appreciation for the material I find that building relationships with my students is essential. I work to understand them and how the material will help them meet their personal and professional goals. In honoring the student’s previous experiences and using them as a base from which to draw deductive inferences about human behavior, I work to engage students to higher level learning. It is these higher-level skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and creating knowledge that we strive for in the teaching of psychology. The practice of clinical psychology requires the use of these higher-level skills on a constant basis and therefore it is of utmost importance that they are encouraged in our students throughout their learning.

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