Hawaii born Tom Merrill, Ph.D., ABPP, DPNAP, is an author, consultant, and professional speaker with a private practice centering on individuals, couples, and family therapy. He is a trained mediator who is experienced in alternate dispute resolution and consults on intra-organizational relationships. He is also trained in trauma treatment support for adults and children.
Tom describes himself as a ‘most fortunate’ man whose life has followed a full and rich path filled with extraordinary encounters, people, challenges and experiences that have heavily influenced his personal and professional journeys.
Prior to his life as a psychologist, Tom moved through his undergraduate work at the University of Colorado, Boulder on the 5-year plan, taking a year off to travel and perform throughout the US in clubs and coffee houses at the peak of the folk group movement. He returned to college with a love and passion for all things music, a romance he nurtures to this day.
Upon graduating, Tom honed his corporate skills before returning to his Hawaii roots where he became Senior Vice President of the state’s largest advertising agency. His time in advertising peaked Tom’s interest in human behavior and revealed his talent for working with people. While still with the agency, Tom earned a Masters degree in counseling psychology that inspired him to follow his heart and make a mid-life career change.
He bid adieu to the world of advertising and, with the support of his first wife and three adaptable daughters, relocated to Texas and The University of Texas at Austin to attend graduate school. Acclimating well to the Austin hospitality, cuisine and music, he earned his PhD in psychology with a focus on human behavior and interpersonal relationships.
Tom left Texas with his degree, wonderful memories, a satchel full of newly learned songs and guitar riffs and returned to his Hawaii home and a private practice in clinical, forensic, and neuropsychology. In his role as a forensic psychologist Tom served as an expert witness in state and federal courts, testified in capital murder cases and advised the U.S. Dept. of Justice on conditions of confinement, assessment and treatment of incarcerated adolescents.
He also resumed his passion for marathons and triathlons as well as competitive canoe paddling and kayaking in races, including the challenging Molokai Channel event.
Professionally active, Tom is past president of the Hawaii Psychological Association, past Chairman of the Hawaii State Psychology Licensing Board and is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist licensed to practice in Washington, Arizona and Hawaii.
Tom is one of a select number of psychologists elected to the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner in Psychology. Among his other career accomplishments, he helped to shape and participate in Kids First, a program for Family Court designed to reduce the detrimental effects experienced by children during the divorce process. He also created and served as Chairman of the Hawaii Mental Health Center, Inc., a system to deliver pro-bono mental health services to families in need.
Tom also served as an affiliate faculty member of Argosy University-Hawaii Campus and as an Adjunct Professor in clinical psychology at the University of Hawaii. He has authored and published numerous articles and columns in professional journals, newspapers and trade publications.
A father of three gifted and kind daughters and a grandfather of four equally remarkable granddaughters, Tom counts these seven spirited women among his greatest blessings. An avid folk-fan, a newbie at Hawaiian slack key, and a budding photographer, he can be found picking, composing, and singing, or digitally capturing the world around him.
Tom currently lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with his wife Bobbie, a sweetheart from his early adolescence who he rediscovered and married and was inspired to co-author with her the ultimate how-to partnership book titled, Settle for More. They continue to write books and blogs and teach online parenting and partnership classes.