Dr. Paul Guillory is currently an associate professor at the University of California Berkeley. He is a certified trainer and supervisor in Emotionally Focused Therapy. He owns a private practice servicing patients in individual and couples therapy as well as sports psychology. He is an American Psychological Association doctoral alumnus and received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of California Berkeley.
Dr. Guillory was initially drawn to the MFP because of his interest in stress and coping, specifically African American effective coping and felt that he would benefit from the program’s offerings and opportunities. He shared, “I had a general attitude to encourage, promote, and train other mental health providers of color. My involvement in MFP would ensure a commitment to working in a setting that included such communities, which influenced my interest in the fellowship program but in turn my interest in clinical psychology.”
Dr. Guillory initially envisioned himself working in academia and direct clinical work. He shared, “In the early stages of my career I thought my career would be a combination of clinical work and teaching. Over time, that expanded to include administration work, leadership roles in clinical organizations, and trainings. This integration has been realized as I currently supervise graduate students, teaching courses on emotionally focused therapies.” In addition to his role as trainer, he also serves on the board of directors for and is a lifetime member of the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Participating in the MFP afforded Dr. Guillory opportunities to build and nurture his professional network. He shared, “From the beginning of my involvement in the MFP, I have been committed to working in settings that include people of color. This has influenced my clinical psychology interest (stress and coping), where I have chosen to work (community-based organizations), and my general attitude to always encourage, promote, and train other mental health providers of color. My current work with African American couples is reflective of this ongoing interest in the well-being of people of color as nurtured during my MFP experience.” He is a lifetime member of the Association of Black Psychologists.
When reflecting on how he was able to leverage the skills and knowledge acquired in the MFP, Dr. Guillory shared that it provided opportunities for training, mentorship, and so much more. He explained, “The MFP, in partnership with my graduate program at UC Berkeley, helped me develop both a clinical attitude to strive toward excellence and a leadership attitude to make an impact toward development. These attitudes have enhanced my role in academic settings, in the community, and as a sports psychologist, where I served 14 years with the National Football League.”
In regard to how the MFP mentorship impacted his professional development, Dr. Guillory has truly applied the knowledge and skills acquired from the MFP into his research, clinical practice, and teaching career. He stated, “While I’m uncertain that the mentorship component was in place during my MFP experience, it is a critical addition to the program. I was fortunate to find MFP-type of people that supported and encouraged me along the way. This was particularly true in my NFL work with Dr. Bill Parham; Dr. Veronique Thompson, a fellow MFP participant and lifelong friend and colleague; and Dr. Sue Johnson, with emotionally focused therapy.”
Post-MFP, Dr. Guillory has achieved many accomplishments, including opening his private practice of 30 years in Oakland California, serving as chairperson of the Northern California Community of Emotionally Focused Therapy, and serving as the psychological consultant to the National Football League and the National Basketball Players Association. He also continues to serve as director of the Center for Family Counseling in Oakland, California, where he has been for over 10 years. Dr Guillory is also proud of his August 2021 publication, Emotionally Focused Therapy with African American Couples: Love Heals, Routledge, 2021
, which discusses the interplay of stress and coping on Black loving relationships. He shared, “This publication represents a culmination of the integration of the training and mentorship I received from the MFP, which was and continues to be an interest I developed during my MFP participation while in graduate school.”
When asked what career building advice he would offer to the current MFP fellows, Dr. Guillory says, “I would encourage them to take the mission of MFP into your heart and soul. Engage yourself in multiple projects of interest, and in doing so you will increase your knowledge base and professional connections. Also, be sure to actively participate in professional and community-based organizations that serve people of color.”