Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa and postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington. She subsequently joined the staff of Seattle Children’s Hospital and ran Children’s Behavior and Learning Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, before moving to a private clinic. Eventually it became clear that social and political trends were undermining what she was trying to accomplish as a mental health practitioner: to have there be a little less pain and a little more delight in the world. She closed her practice to take on some of those bigger issues.
As a writer Valerie tackles the intersection between religious belief, psychology and politics, with a growing focus on women’s issues and contraceptive technologies that she thinks are upstream game changers for a broad range of challenges that humanity faces.
Valerie is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light, and Deas and Other Imaginings: 10 Spiritual Folktales for Children. She currently writes for the Alternet, and occasionally for Huffington Post and Truthout. Her articles are popular at Salon.com, ExChristian.net and IEET.org. Until the closure of SCAN TV in 2011, she hosted a monthly series, “Christianity in the Public Square” on Moral Politics Television in Seattle. Her YouTube Channel, AwayPoint offers resources for recovering Evangelicals and others who want to better understand the psychology of biblical Christian belief.
Tarico is actively engaged in dialogue that aims to find common ground between theists and freethinkers, in particular by focusing on humanity’s shared moral core. She is a founder of WisdomCommons.org, an interactive site that allows users to find and discuss information about virtues that emerge repeatedly across secular and religious wisdom traditions. A related series of parenting articles, “Character Corner” can be found at The Community of Mindful Parents. A complete set of her articles is available here at AwayPoint.wordpress.com.