Todd Van Denburg

Associate Professor of Psychology

Todd Van Denburg’s students help with all phases of his research, from investigating the existing literature, formulating research questions, and collecting and analyzing data to writing up the results.

This opportunity to gain independent research experience as an undergraduate seems to pay off. Van Denburg has former advisees currently on the faculty of such institutions as the University of Florida, Xavier University, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

From his perspective, Transylvania’s liberal arts curriculum gives students an advantage. Their exposure to a number of academic disciplines helps them understand that human behavior is influenced by multiple historical and cultural factors that may all affect an individual’s “biological, psychological, and social/cultural levels of motivation.”

In the classroom, Van Denburg likes to “create an atmosphere of intellectual and emotional play.” But “play” doesn’t necessarily mean only fun and games. Van Denburg maintains high expectations for his students, both in class and out of class. Through observing their classroom achievements and their campus activities, he enjoys seeing his students mature, both intellectually and emotionally, during their time at Transylvania.

I like to create an atmosphere of intellectual and emotional play.

In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Van Denburg maintains a small private practice, where he offers individual, couples, and family therapy. When time permits, he and his wife enjoy traveling to New York City to visit their daughter and indulge in the cultural experiences the city offers.

Academic History

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1988
M.A., Experimental Psychology, Hollins College, 1983
B.A., Psychology and Philosophy, Drury College, 1982

Courses Taught at Transy

Theories of Personality
Theories of Psychotherapy
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Interpersonal Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Contemporary Personality Disorders
Senior Seminar in Psychology


Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching

Recent Publications

“An interpersonal treatment plan for the case of Mr. B.” in Nietzel, Bernstein, Kramer, and Milich, Introduction to Clinical Psychology, Prentice Hall, 2003

Van Denburg and Kiesler, “An interpersonal perspective on resistance in psychotherapy,” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2002

Areas of Research

Interpersonal assessment, diagnosis, and psychotherapy
Adult attachment processes
Personality disorders

Transylvania University | Academics