Tod Sloan teaches seminars on life span development, the social context of counseling, dialogue practices, social theory, and critical psychology. He coordinates Project Dialogue, part of the Graduate School’s Center for Community Engagement. He is co-coordinator for Lewis & Clark’s new certificate in Ecopsychology in Counseling.
Sloan’s current scholarship involves developing systems to support activists and change agents in grassroots ecological and social justice organizations. Currently, he focuses on how activists can reach the mainstream more effectively in order to deepen democracy and reduce economic injustice. For example, see the Facebook group OccuPsy: Critical Psychology for Decolonization. He also helps organize counselors and therapists to support each other in making human service agencies more effective and humane - see PsySR-CSJ-PDX.
Sloan is co-editor of the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, which is officially sponsored by Psychologists for Social Responsibility and Counselors for Social Justice. He also edits the Palgrave book series called Critical Theory and Practice in Psychology and the Human Sciences.
Sloan was trained in personality theory, counseling, and psychodynamic psychotherapy at the University of Michigan. He taught psychology at the University of Tulsa from 1982 to 2001, where he founded the Center for Community Research and Development in 1998 and served as department chair from 1999 to 2001. From 2001 to 2004, Sloan served as the national co-coordinator for Psychologists for Social Responsibility, an advocacy organization that mobilizes and equips psychologists for peacebuilding and social justice work. He joined Lewis and Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling as Professor in 2004 and served as Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology from 2004 to 2010.
Sloan is the author of two books: Life Choices: Understanding Dilemmas and Decisions and Damaged Life: The Crisis of the Modern Psyche. In these books, he develops a psychodynamic perspective on ideological processes in personal decisions and social relations. In particular, he focuses on issues related to consumerism, citizenship, and relationships as well as on the psychosocial conditions for sustainable development and deeper democracy.
As an advocate for a perspective known as critical psychology, which is concerned about the possible negative effects of scientistic psychology on societal development both in postmodern society and in the global South, he has been working with colleagues to develop relevant participatory modes of psychosocial practice. In this vein, he edited the bookCritical Psychology: Voices for Change, a collection of reflections by critical psychologists on the relations between psychology and social change.
Sloan is fluent in Spanish and has been a visiting professor in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, and has taught seminars in Brazil, Mexico, and Guatemala. Fruits of this work include a volume of the Journal of Social Issues on “Psychology for the Third World,” co-edited with Maritza Montero; and Psychology and Poverty: From Global Perspective to Local Practice, co-edited with Stuart Carr.