Walter D, Rutherford, Ph.D.
Walt Rutherford, Ph.D. has been involved in the fields of counseling, consulting with businesses and non-profits, and academic instruction for over forty years. After serving as a combat platoon leader in the Vietnam war, he returned home and began working clinically with veterans and other survivors of violence and abuse including those addicted to various drugs and suffering from trauma. In 1979 Walt was named the Director of one of the first Vet Centers (VA) in the nation in Vermont where he began his study of the phenomena later to be known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To this day he is known as a pioneer in the research and treatment of this issue. He has counseled more than three thousand trauma survivors and their families. He has taught courses on both coasts on this subject in medical schools as well as universities. In San Diego he pioneered PTSD treatments for veterans, sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors. Again turning to “the least of these”, Walt was employed in 2015 as the coordinator of Combat PTSD treatment at Veterans Village of San Diego, working with the treatment of homeless and addicted veterans.
In the late 1980’s Walt began an intense study of Tibetan Buddhism and its medical approach. Since this time he has taught these principles and has created programs in Tibetan Buddhist Psychology in several universities. As a Transpersonal Psychologist he espouses the need to treat the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
Walt continues to teach and advocate for inner peace and equality in individuals, families, groups, communities, and the world. The one salient thread in his personal and professional practice is dealing with the most difficult psychological and spiritual crises with compassion, clarity, and emotional kindness. Since 1975 Walt has led groups of all kinds from consulting groups to group therapy. One thing that is often said is that Walt is a master of creating community.