Random Sample

  • Tim Calvey, PsyD

  • Member since: 2009

  • Occupation: Staff clinician at the American University counseling center in Washington, D.C.

  • Away from the fold: Before he became a psychologist, Calvey served as a brother of the Jesuit order, a male religious community of the Catholic Church whose members take vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. For eight years, he lived in enclaves with other Jesuits and traveled to Poland to teach English as a second language and to India to work as a nurse’s aide at a leprosy hospital.

  • A new direction: While in India, Calvey found that the most important aspects of his work came from just “being there” for the leprosy victims. The disease is still largely misunderstood, he says, and as a result, many people shun those who have it. “This vivid experience invited me to consider what it means to support, accompany and promote healing by being present to another person’s lived experience,” says Calvey.

    He returned to the United States, left the Jesuits in 2004 and focused his attention on becoming a mental health professional. Calvey completed his doctoral studies in 2009 and worked at the counseling centers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Roosevelt University before accepting his position at American.

  • Cyberstalking prevention: In addition to providing counseling to students at American University, Calvey conducts assessments, does crisis interventions and plans outreach programming to reduce the stigma of mental illness. He also co-chairs a campus-wide committee dedicated to preventing sexual harassment at the school. The committee develops pamphlets and seminars to educate students and faculty on how to deal with sexual harassment and is drafting a university policy on the issue of online harassment.

  • A walk in the woods: When Calvey gets a break from the daily demands of the counseling center, he takes long walks in the woods near campus. When he has longer breaks, he travels to national parks to hike and camp.

    “When I spend the majority of my life being present and listening to others, I find that I need to renew my own spirit and sense of self by getting back into nature,” he says.

—J. Clark

Each month, “Random Sample” profiles an APA member. You may be next.