The Center for Psychological Humanities & Ethics

Housed in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, the Center is host to vital conversations taking place between the psychological sciences and the disciplines of philosophy, theology, sociology, history, literature, the arts, and political studies. The emphasis of these dialogues is on the enduring ethical questions at the heart of human existence. With a goal of enriching theory and practice, the Center organizes and develops international conferences, runs the Psychological Humanities & Ethics lecture series, offers credit-bearing continuing education courses and practitioner-oriented professional development, oversees grant-funded projects and initiatives, develops curricula, and disseminates research through its two book series with Routledge/Taylor Francis and various academic and popular outlets. All of these activities are oriented toward exploring the rich reflections that emerge from the interplay between psychology and the humanities.

Campion Hall


If psychology, which constitutes one of the largest areas of study in the modern university, is to reach its full potential as a means of not only informing our understanding of the human condition but also aiding in the development of the ethical and spiritual dimensions of character, then psychological education and training must be broadened to include more humanistic approaches to identity and personhood. Over the past century, the empirical and naturalistic side of psychology has risen in prominence and yielded major advances. Unfortunately, it has often done so by undervaluing and thus neglecting the humanistic and ethical dimensions of human life. With the generous support of Boston College, the Center for Psychological Humanities & Ethics hopes to stand at the forefront of this reimagining the discipline of psychology, opening its borders to other fields of knowing.

Located in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, the Center acts as a home for interdisciplinary engagement that seeks to enrich theory and practice related to human experience. It seeks to cultivate and nourish a significant international network of scholars and practitioners that assists in marshaling global resources and academic and clinical training opportunities. From its internal, institutional bridge-building across various disciplines to its outwardly-facing conferences and scholarship, the Center brings an ethically-infused foundation to academic inquiry, clinical sensibilities, curriculum development, and scholarly output.


Gasson Hall

The story of the Psychology & the Other Conference provides a useful context as a precursor to and foundation for the Center. With a small group of invested undergraduate students and several dedicated faculty, the first Psychology & the Other Conference took place in 2011. Driven by a shared passion to challenge some of the insularity of our concepts and creatively invite the possibility of more ethically dynamic means of understanding persons and health, this group found in the idea of the Other an important vehicle for bringing into meaningful dialogue disciplines and fields of inquiry within psychology that share something of a common purpose.

It was precisely with this dialogue in mind that in October 2011, the first Psychology & the Other Conference was convened in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Attended by some 300 clinicians, academic psychologists, philosophers, theologians, historians, poets, anthropologists, and cultural theorists, this conference served to bring together (under a single intellectual roof) perspectives that had heretofore been largely isolated from one another. In a very real sense, it therefore served to inaugurate, within psychology, a multi-disciplinary space for exploring this comparatively new set of ideas. One of the distinctive features of the conference is the intentional pairing of plenary speakers with persons from wholly other disciplines to create a type of catalytic engagement that upsets the insularity and jargon-laden fixtures that often come to determine the currency of exchange at discipline-specific conferences. The conference proved successful, due to both the outstanding scholars involved and the spirit of shared enterprise.


A little over a decade later, this interdisciplinary venture has expanded significantly in scope and activity. Hosting various lectures and public events, organizing publications and running its own book series, providing trainings, workshops, and continuing education offerings, the Psychology & the Other network has broadened to include over 20,000 academics, clinicians, and practitioners on its listserv – a vibrant and growing community. With the backing of Boston College’s administration, the Conference was officially transformed into the Psychological Humanities & Ethics initiative in June of 2021, with an eye to developing a Center in the years to come. And, just over a year later, that promise was realized with the announcement that the Center for Psychological Humanities & Ethics would officially launch at the 7th convening of the Psychology & the Other Conference in October 2023.

Gasson's Facade in the Fall
Gasson tower with fall leaves
Campus from windows

Core Team

We are a group of interdisciplinary scholars, researchers, and practitioners who are dedicated to revitalizing philosophical, theological, and psychosocial traditions in psychology in order to augment our moral vocabulary for understanding clinical work within the context of a higher ethical calling.

David Goodman


David Goodman is the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and External Relations, Director of the Center for Psychological Humanities and Ethics, and an Associate Professor of the Practice in Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Dr. Goodman has written over a dozen articles on continental philosophy, Jewish thought, social justice, and psychotherapy. Dr. Goodman currently serves as the Series Editor for the Psychology and the Other Book Series with Routledge. He has authored and edited over a dozen books including The Demanded Self: Levinasian Ethics and Identity in Psychology (with Duquesne University Press, 2012) and Psychology and the Other (with Mark Freeman and Oxford University Press, 2015). Dr. Goodman is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has a private practice in Boston, MA.

Matthew Clemente

Research Fellow

Matthew Clemente is a philosopher and author. His recent books include Technology and Its Discontents: The Perils of Ethical Distancing (forthcoming with David M. Goodman, Oxford University Press, 2025) and Kierkegaard: Psychological Insights and Practical Applications (forthcoming, Routledge, 2024). He is a Fellow in the Center for Psychological Humanities and Ethics, Coeditor in Chief of the Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion, and Codirector of the Guestbook Project, a 501c3 non-profit. He teaches philosophy, theology, and literature at Boston College and offers classes through the Boston College Prison Education Program at a local medium security prison.
Sofia Rietti

Sofia Rietti

Project Administrator

Sofia is the Project Administrator at Boston College's Center for Psychological Humanities & Ethics, currently pursuing a Master's in Mental Health Counseling. Sofia made a significant shift from the corporate technology sector, embarking on a career change into the field of psychology. Her research interests lie in women's mental health and the intersection of mind-body practices. Looking ahead, she is considering a private counseling practice or further educational pursuits.
Allison Lynch

Allison Lynch

Graduate Assistant

Ally Lynch is the Graduate Assistant and Lab Coordinator for the Center for Psychological Humanities at Boston College. She is a recent graduate from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a first year student in the Master’s Program for Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. Ally is excited to be a part of the Center this year, as it emphasizes the significance of interdisciplinary engagement in understanding the human experience.