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Dr. John McCarthy

  • Professor

    210 Stouffer Hall
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Indiana, PA 15705

    724-357-3807  Dr. John McCarthy

    John McCarthy earned his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri–Kansas City and has been teaching in the IUP Counseling Department since 2001. He has directed the department’s Center for Creativity and Change since its inception in 2005.

    From 2009 to 2015, McCarthy participated in the International Academic Fellowship Program in the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute. In this role, he worked with both Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia and Yerevan State University in Armenia. In addition, he has offered professional presentations in Turkey, Singapore, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, England, Canada, and Taiwan. 

    In 2011, he served as an academic visitor at the University of Cambridge (UK).

    McCarthy has 29 journal publications and over 50 professional presentations.  His professional writings have been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Buffalo News,, Counseling Today, and the Psychotherapy Networker

    He is a national certified counselor and a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Creativity in Counseling, and Division 10 (the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts) of the American Psychological Association.

    His interests include creativity and creative problem-solving; international issues in mental health; counseling and wellness; CBT, solution-focused, and strengths-based counseling approaches; and motivational interviewing.

    Recent Conference Presentations

    McCarthy, J. (April, 2017). “How the alligator got stuck on the escalator: Five (or more) keys to creative problem-solving.” Keynote speech at the 2017 Student Symposium of the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. 

    McCarthy, J. (November, 2016).  ...and now for something different?  Presented at the 2016 Oregon Mental Health Practitioners Conference, Portland, OR.

    McCarthy, J. (June, 2016). The cat lived! Presented at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (Creative Education Foundation’s 62nd International Conference), Buffalo, NY.

    McCarthy, J. (October, 2015). Water the seeds, not the weeds: Solution-focused creativity and creative problem-solving. Presented at the Symposium of the Singapore Association of Counseling, Singapore.

    McCarthy, J. (June, 2015).  Becoming a CRM (Creative Role Model). Presentation at the Summer School Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute, Indiana, PA.

    McCarthy, J. (June, 2015). Making green bananas yellow: The art of TPQ (Thought-Provoking Questions). Presented at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (Creative Education Foundation’s 61st International Conference), Buffalo, NY.

    Recent Publications

    McCarthy, J. (in press). Do Creative Thinking and Creative Problem-Solving Have a Place in Counseling Curricula?  Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

    McCarthy, J. (2017). Teaching creativity: A look beyond counseling. Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling, 7, 37-45.

    Wilkinson, R. T., & McCarthy, J. (2016). Economic factors related to enrollment in a counseling program. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 8(1).

    Bruno, M., McCarthy, J., & Kramer, C. (2015). Mental health literacy and depression among older adolescent males.  Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling, 5 (2).

    McCarthy, J., Habedank, M., and Kane, C. (2015). Syllabi: Change documents for counselor education.  VISTAS 2015. Retrieved from

    McCarthy, J., & Habedank, M. (2014). Addressing global mental health. VISTAS 2014 (pp. 1-8). Retrieved from 

    Recent Professional Articles 

    McCarthy, J. (2017, May 15). Aspiring to make suicide a relic of the past.  Counseling Today Online.  Retrieved from

    McCarthy, J. (2017, March 3).  U.S. high schools should teach creative problem-solving.  Retrieved from

    McCarthy, J. (2016, September 10). My daughter's 9/11. Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

    Recent Local Presentations

    McCarthy, J. (2017, August).  Play to your strengths! Presentation at the Monroeville Public Library, Monroeville, PA.

    McCarthy, J. (2017, August). Pretzels, chips, cookies…and creative thinking? Presentation at the August Institute, Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8, Johnstown, PA.

    McCarthy, J. (2017, March 13). "How did they think of that?" The fun of creative thinking and creative problem-solving.  Presentation at the Monroeville (PA) Public Library.