Professional Profile

Dr. David A. Levy has extensive experience as a teacher, psychotherapist, writer and scientific researcher. He received his B.A. degree in theater arts at UCLA, an M.A. in psychology at Pepperdine University, a second M.A. in psychology at UCLA, and his Ph.D. in psychology at UCLA, where he specialized in social psychology, with minors in psychological assessment and personality psychology. He is Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University, where, since 1986, he has been teaching graduate courses in Psychopathology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Theories of Personality, and Clinical Practicum. He served as Visiting Professor of Psychology in the Soviet Union, where he delivered lectures and workshops in psychology and psychotherapy at Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) State University, the Leningrad Academy of Science, and the Bekhterev Psychoneurological Institute. He was honored as a Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Pepperdine, and was a recipient of the Shepard Ivory Franz Distinguished Teaching Award and Charles F. Scott Fellowship at UCLA.

Dr. Levy holds professional licenses both in psychology and in marriage and family therapy. He conducts a private psychotherapy practice, and he utilizes his expertise in psychological testing (particularly the MMPI) in forensic settings, where he evaluates plaintiffs and provides legal testimony as an expert witness in cases involving allegations of emotional distress. He also served as the Executive Clinical Director of Crime Survivors Services, an agency which specializes in the treatment of victims of violent crimes.

His numerous theoretical and empirical research studies have been published in scientific journals and presented at professional conferences. His focal areas of research include social cognition, interpersonal influence, psychopathology, and media psychology. His book, Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology, has garnered widespread acclaim both in academic and clinical settings for its innovative approaches to improving thinking skills. He is co-author (with Dr. Eric Shiraev) of Cross-Cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and Contemporary Applications which, by its 3rd edition, had become the #1 international best-selling text on that topic. He is also the author of Family Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice, which is the first complete textbook on family therapy available to Russian clinicians, researchers and educators. His Levy Optimism-Pessimism Scale (LOPS) has been translated into several foreign languages (including Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Slovak) and continues to be utilized internationally in a variety of research contexts. He is also the author of many satirical articles, including "How to Be a Good Psychotherapy Patient," "Psychometric Infallibility Realized: The One-Size-Fits-All Psychological Profile," "The Emperor's Postmodern Clothes: A Brief Guide to Deconstructing Academically Fashionable Phrases for the Uninitiated," and "A Proposed Category for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Pervasive Labeling Disorder."

Dr. Levy is a member of the Board of Editors for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, he has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, and he has served as a consultant for the Russian-American Center for International Education. In his featured appearances on over seventy television and radio programs (including CBS, CNN, NBC, CNBC, PBS, NPR, Fox, A&E, Nat Gio, KABC, and E!), Dr. Levy provides psychological perspectives on current news events, and examines prominent issues, problems and trends in the mental health fields.

Dr. Levy has also worked as a professional director, producer, writer and actor in motion pictures, television and stage. He was the director and co-creator of Let's Call the Whole Thing Gershwin, he directed the west coast premiere of Golda: A Partial Portrait, he wrote 60 episodes of the daytime television serial Secret Lives, and he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Network Television Series. Dr. Levy was featured on the television series Cheers, where he holds the dubious distinction of having portrayed one of Frasier`s "low self-esteem" group therapy patients.