Doherty has made distinctive contributions in four areas of couple and family therapy: medical family therapy to treat couples and families dealing with medical illness; values-based couples therapy; discernment counseling for couples on the brink of divorce; and community engagement work by couple and family therapists.
After a background in a Catholic seminary, Doherty entered graduate school at the University of Connecticut in 1972 and earned his PhD in Family Studies in 1978. He took at faculty position in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Iowa, where he taught family practice residents. In 1983 he coauthored, with Macaran Baird, MD, the first book on family therapy and family medicine. Subsequently, he and Baird joined the faculty of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Oklahoma. There he further developed collaborative work on the family systems dynamics of illness and the relationships between health care...