For the past four decades, John Bradshaw has combined his exceptional skills as the role of counselor, author, management consultant, theologian, philosopher, and public speaker, becoming one of the leading figures in the fields of addiction/recovery, family systems, relationships, Spiritual and emotional growth, and management training. John brought the phrases dysfunctional families and inner child into mainstream society. His dynamic training and therapies are practiced all over the world. A much sought out speaker, John has truly touched and transformed the lives of millions. He was elected by a group of his peers as ‘one of the most influential writers on emotional health in the 20th Century.’
Born into a troubled family on June 29, 1933 in Houston, Texas and abandoned by his alcoholic father at a young age, John became both an academic overachiever and an out-of-control teenager. He later studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood at a Basilian seminary where he remained for nine and one-half years, leaving just a few days prior to being ordained. During that time he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He continued his post graduate studies at Rice University and earned a Masters of Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica. Throughout his education, John was the recipient of many merit awards, including, the Trustees' Scholarship, John MacDonald Scholarship in Philosophy, Cardinal Mercier Gold Medal in Philosophy and the Trustees' Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.
During his years of study, John developed a drinking problem, and on December 11, 1965, took a drastic step—he committed himself to Austin State Hospital for the treatment of his dependency to alcohol. John continues to celebrate that day; because that was the day he took his last drink. John signed himself out of the hospital after six days and entered an alcohol recovery program. Soon afterward he began to lecture at a local church, and before long, was in high demand as a counselor, teacher, public speaker, and corporate consultant.