Judith Wallerstein

Author, divorce psychologist, and founder of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition

Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority on the effects of divorce on children and their parents, and on marriage. She is the founder in 1980 of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition, in Marin County, California, a major center for research, education and counseling for families in separation, divorce and marriage. Findings from her groundbreaking investigations have been widely published in numerous books, scientific journals, and lay publications. The acknowledged standard reference work on divorcing families is her book, written with Dr. Joan Kelly, Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce (Basic Books, New York, 1980), which grew out of the original California Children of Divorce Study begun in 1971, for which Dr. Wallerstein was the principal investigator. Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce (Ticknor & Fields, New York, 1989, co-authored with Sandra Blakeslee), comprises her 10- and 15-year follow-up reports on that study and is a compendium of clinical observations on the nature of the divorce process. It has won wide acclaim and has been translated into ten foreign languages. After turning her attention to a study of happy marriages, she published another best-selling book, The Good Marriage: How and Why Loves Lasts (Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1995, co-authored with Sandra Blakeslee), which has been translated into nine languages. Subsequently, she completed the 25-year follow-up of her original California Children of Divorce Study, published as The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study (with Julia Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee, Hyperion Press, New York, 2000) which has also been translated into fourteen foreign languages. Her most recent contribution is What About the Kids? Raising Children Before, During and After Divorce (with Sandra Blakeslee, Hyperion Press, New York, 2003), a sensitive and realistic guide for divorcing parents . She was invited to address the annual meeting of the Chief Justices of the United States in Rapid City, South Dakota, in July 2000.

Dr. Wallerstein was educated at Columbia University and the Topeka Institute for Psychoanalysis. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Lund University in Sweden in 1978. She is Senior Lecturer Emerita at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, where she was on the faculty from 1966-1992. She has also held faculty positions at the School of Law, University of California, Berkeley; the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; and Pahlavi University Medical School in Iran, and has lectured at Harvard. Cornell. Stanford, Yale and other major universities throughout the United States and abroad. She was a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, in 1992, and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California, in 1980. She has served as a consultant for numerous organizations including the Advisory Commission on Family Law to the California Senate Subcommittee on Administration of Justice; the Commission on Law and Mental Health, State Bar of California; and the California Senate Task Force on Family Equity. She serves on the editorial boards of many major professional journals.

Her honors include the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, the Koshland Award in Social Welfare from the San Francisco Foundation, a Resolution of Commendation from the State of California Senate Rules Subcommittee, the Rene Spitz Lectureship from the Denver Psychoanalytic Society, election to Who's Who in American Science , the Dale Richmond Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other awards. She is an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She has delivered hundreds of addresses to leading mental health, legal, medical, and psychiatric organizations, hospitals and universities. Dr. Wallerstein received awards in August 2002 from both the American Psychological Association and the American Bar Association.