Professor, Dept. of Behavioral Science
Dr. Christensen received his professional education in the U.S. He obtained his M.S. in psychology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, in 1976. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada, in 1980. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Oregon.
He is a consultant in behavioral medicine, graduate medical education, and health professional well-being. He previously directed behavioral medicine training in the internal medicine residency at Legacy Health in Portland, Oregon for 29 years. In his private practice of psychotherapy he worked with physicians and other health professionals. He has facilitated retreats and training in physician well-being, communication skills, and managing medical errors for various healthcare organizations. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and Oregon Psychological Association.
Dr. Christensen is co-editor with Mitchell Feldman, M.D., of Behavioral Medicine: a Guide for Clinical Practice, 4th edition, published by McGraw-Hill in 2014. They have co-edited this textbook since the first edition in 1997. His other publications include work on physician and organizational well-being, the impact of mistakes on physicians, hypnosis, and stress.
He and his wife, Julie Burns Christensen, are cofounders of Pilgrims’ Partner Foundation (www.pilgrimspartner.org), which provides free consultation to nonprofit organizations in the Western U.S. serving low-income and disenfranchised populations. They live on a forested farm in the Columbia River Gorge in the state of Oregon, where they facilitate occasional retreats for personal renewal.