April 29, 2018
When I was six years old, my mother gave me a small, eight by five inch paperback journal with Free to Be You and Me on the cover. I filled the pages with stories, “commercials,” and six-year-old satire. That was when I became a writer. I was an academic writer for twenty years, first as a graduate student, then as a postdoctoral fellow, and finally as a professor in psychology. By the time I resigned my tenured Associate Professor position at the University of Texas at Austin, I had published 26 peer reviewed articles and 9 book chapters, one year winning the award for the most influential article published in The Counseling Psychologist, one of the top journals in my field. I left UT to work full time at Legal Consensus, a boutique forensic consulting firm I had started 10 years prior. Here, my writing had taken another form: forensic psychological evaluations for the courts. Having conducted over 600 evaluations over the course of my career, I have written tens of thousands of pages about why people do the things they do. I have the honor of being on the Editorial Board of the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law. It is through this lens of psycho-legal training I explore the human desire for social justice, courage, and love, a passion that was further deepened during my appointment as the Associate Director for the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas. I am inevitably drawn to writing narrative prose about real human struggles, using a social science foundation, in an attempt to show there is a place where what we know in our head meets what we know in our heart. My goal is to elicit greater empathy, depth, and awareness, particularly in the areas of gender, race, and class, through personal memoir and biographical narrative of amazing stories of survival.
About Alissa Sherry, Ph.D.
Alissa Sherry, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who has been conducting forensic evaluations for the courts since 2005. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law, a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to the contribution of psychological science to law and public policy. She was a tenured professor in Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin for 13 years, where she published numerous articles on topics related to diversity and lifespan development, before leaving to start her company, Legal Consensus, a practice devoted to forensic evaluations for the courts. It was during her time as Associate Director for the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at UT Austin that she met Cathy McBroom and Donna Wilkerson and became fascinated by their story.