Rhoda Olkin

Rhoda Olkin | Dir, Inst on Disability and Health Psych

  • California School of Professional Psychology

  • Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
  • San Francisco Beach St Campus

Research Interests

Distributive justice; models of disability; parents with disabilities; diversity training; case formulation, psychopathology and diagnosis; family therapy; cognitive behavior therapy


Dr. Olkin is a Distinguished Professor in the clinical PsyD program in SF. the author of two books on the confluence of psychology, disability, cultural, and disability studies: Disability-affirmative therapy: a case formulation template for clients with disabilities (2017, Oxford University Press) and What psychotherapists should know about disability (1999, Guilford Press). She has been with CSPP for almost 30 years, and taught over 18 different courses, including CBT with couples, families, children, and adults; Advanced psychopathology; Family therapy; Clients with chronic illness and Disabilities; Research proposal design. She is a frequent speaker and consultant on disability issues in clinical and work environments. Her current project is a book on Teaching disability: A practical guide for instructors.


  • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, (Counseling Psychology)
  • MA, University of California, Santa Barbara, (Counseling Psychology)
  • BA, Stanford University (Psychology)


  • Research Methods
  • Research Cluster on Disabilities, Families and Culture (Dissertation Supervision)
  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis (in person and online)
  • Principles of Psychotherapy
  • Physical Disability: Psychosocial/Legal Aspects
  • Observation and Interviewing
  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Learning Theory
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • Family Therapy (Beginning and Advanced)
  • Effective Teaching and Presenting
  • Dissertation Proposal Design
  • Disability, Law and Family
  • Disability, Ethnicity and Culture
  • Social Psychology (online)
  • Theory and Technique: Cognitive Behavioral
    Therapy with Couples and Families
  • Consultation and Evaluation
  • Clinical Supervision


  • Alliant International University President's Award for Faculty Excellence
  • National Multicultural Conference and Summit II: Dalmas A. Taylor Award
  • APA Division 43 (Family Psychology) Carolyn Attneave award
  • APA Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology) award
  • Meritorious Performance & Professional Promise Award, CA State Univ., Sacramento
  • Award for Outstanding Performance, VA Medical Center, SF, CA; 1983, 84, 85
  • Outstanding Merit Increase Awards, CSPP: 1991; 1992; 1993; 1995; 2000



Olkin, R. (2006). Disability and depression. In F. Haseltine (Ed.), Women with disabilities - A comprehensive guide to care. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Olkin, R. (2006). Why I changed my mind about physician-assisted suicide: How Stanford University made a radical out of me. Journal of Disability Policy Studies.


Olkin, R. (2005). Females with disabilities. In J. Worell & C. Goodheart (Eds.), Handbook of girls' and women's psychological health. New York: Oxford University Press.


Olkin, R. (2003). Women with physical disabilities who want to leave their partners: A feminist and disability-affirmation perspective. Women and Therapy, 26(3/4), 237-246.


Olkin, R. (2003). Women with disabilities. In J. C. Chrisler, C. Golden, & P. D. Rozee (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


Olkin, R., & Pledger, C. (2003). Can disability studies and psychology join hands? American Psychologist, 58(4), 296-304.


Olkin, R. (1999). What psychotherapists should know about disability. New York: Guilford Press.

Alliant International University