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John E. Bradshaw, Sr.

Welcome to John Bradshaw

JOHN BRADSHAW Author, TV Personality, Mentor, Innovator, Philosopher, Counselor, Theologian, Educator, Senoir Fellow and Elder


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.


Over the past 35 years the venerable John Bradshaw has hosted, appeared on, been interviewed on over 800 television and radio shows worldwide. John has appeared on Oprah, Geraldo, Sally, Dr. Ruth, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Politically Incorrect, Good Morning America, CNN News, CNN-Talk Back Live, the BBC and on Sirius Radio. He has been interviewed for, or written articles for over 600 magazines (including Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People, Lears & The Hollywood Reporter), newspapers (including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Portland's Oregonian.) At one time or another, virtually every newspaper in major markets in the United States has written articles about John Bradshaw.) John has been interviewed or written for special trade magazines. John has presented over 5000 keynote speeches, workshops, lectures and talks, and over 1,600 one to two day intensive workshops (US and Internationally.)

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, John hosted Spotlight, a weekly one-hour variety television show. In the early 1980’s, he produced The Eight Stages of Man, an eight-part series for PBS. With the 1986 airing of Bradshaw On: The Family, a ten-part PBS series, John became a television phenomenon. His PBS series have gained huge audiences across the country. Since the 1980’s, John garnered huge international audiences through his television productions, workshops and series, including Where Are You Father?, Healing The Shame That Binds You, Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families, Surviving Divorce, Bradshaw On: Homecoming (Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child), Creating Love, Eating Disorders, and Bradshaw On: Family Secrets. Through his television production ventures with PBS, John helped raise over $12,000,000 for the Public Broadcasting System.

In 1991, John was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host for his series Bradshaw On: Homecoming. In 1996, John was the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, The Bradshaw Difference with MGM Studios. John is widely sought as a public speaker and continues to tour the world giving lectures and workshops.


John is the author of six books, three of which are New York Times Best Sellers. John’s books have sold over 12½ million copies and are published in 42 different languages. His books are Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child (52 weeks at #1 and 108 additional weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Healing the Shame That Binds You (15 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Creating Love (7 weeks at #1 and 78 additional weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Bradshaw On: The Family—A Revolutionary Way of Self-Discovery, and Family Secrets—What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.

His newest book Reclaiming Virtue-Developing The Moral Intelligence To Do The Right Thing At The Right Time For The Right Reason is due out in the Fall of 2008 and is published by Bantam Books, a division of Random House. In 1999, John was honored by a group of his peers and elected ‘One Of The 100 Most Influential Writers On Emotional Health in the 20th Century,’ along with Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and Erich Fromm. == CORPORATE CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, WORKSHOP LEADER AND KEYNOTE PRESENTER==

Throughout the 1970’s, John served as a management consultant at Drillco Manufacturing Company and as a leadership trainer at Denka Chemical Company. He was also Director of Human Resources and served on the Board of Directors of Texas General Oil Company. John is the developer and presenter of workshops for over forty Fortune 500 companies and thousands of evolved for-profit institutions, including Conoco, Inc., ExxonMobil, Phillips Petroleum, R & G Stone Manufacturing Company, American Automobile Association, Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation, The Trane Company, Texas Association Of Realtors, Ogilvy and Mather, Inc., Harrah’s, Fails Management Corporation (John was considered one of the three best speakers for the industry), and Deliotte Haskins and Sells.

He has also presented addresses and workshops for educational, professional, non-profit and social organizations since 1964, including Houston Independent School District, Baylor College Of Medicine, University of Nebraska, Harris County OB/GYN Society, Southwest Conference of the American Dental Association, Coldwater Canyon Hospital, National Association of Bank Women, Los Angeles Police Department, Pasadena Community Hospital in California, National Council on Alcoholism, the Young Presidents Organization, River Oaks Women’s Association, Junior League of Houston and Dallas, Congressional Wives’ Prayer Group in Washington, Texas Council for Exceptional Children, Harris County Medical Association, Council on Alcohol and Drugs-Houston, the Center for Recovering Families, Princeton University Psychology Department, the Student Association at Notre Dame University, and the Center for Addiction Research at the University Of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, to name just a few.

Over 2.5 million people have attended his presentations.


His public service includes serving on the Board of Directors and as President of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (1981-88), as National Director of Life-Plus Co-Dependency Treatment Center (1987-1990), as the Founder and National Director of the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital in Los Angeles (1991-1997), and he has served on the National Board of Directors of The International Montessori Society beginning in 1990. He is an Honorary Lifetime Board Member and Honorary Chair of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs-Houston. In 2009, his book, Reclaiming Virtue was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, he was inducted into the St. Thomas High School Hall of Fame. In addition, he was honored by having the board room at PBS Houston named for John and Karen Bradshaw, as well as the reception lobby at the Houston Council for Alcohol and Drugs-Houston being named for him. In 2010, The Meadows Treatment Center in Wickenburg, AZ will name a family room in his honor.


Since 1999, John has been a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Institute, a multi-disorder inpatient facility specializing in the treatment of a broad range of addictions. The facility’s intensive treatment focuses on drug and alcohol addiction, sexual addictions, depression, psychological conditions, affective disorders, and compulsive behaviors

CURRENT FOCUS OF WORK John Bradshaw’s newest workshops includes current research on the brain. John’s teaches his understanding of the links between the mechanisms of the brain that underlie addiction, emotion, and mood. He presents some of the latest neuroscientific works on human behavior, addictions and mental health in his workshop on The Neuroscience of Inner Child Therapy: Why It Is So Effective and Ways To Do It Well.

John also explores The Primacy and Neuroscience of the "Affect System”. In understanding Silvan Tompkins’ Theory of the “affect system,” John explains the neuroscientific development that underlies the right/affective brain. This is the part of the brain that controls anxiety, distress, and the management of our feelings. John suggests some clinical implications for professionals dealing with mental health and/or substance abuse.

He is currently presenting material on Developing Emotional and Social Literacy detailing the developmental stages of emotional and social intelligence. In this lecture series John introduces techniques for teaching social and emotional literacy and why it is necessary for us to thrive in our love life, family and workplace.

Also among John’s newer works are: Speaking the Truth in Love: Uncovering Blocks to Rigorous Honesty and Creating Strong Healthy Families. John focuses on techniques to uncover blocks to "rigorous honesty," based on the premise that dishonesty often comes from disowned and disliked parts of the self that are repressed and unconscious. Dishonesty and distortion result from these unresolved wounds, as do defenses that cloud awareness and distort the ways individuals see and communicate with others. John also discusses ways to raise one's awareness in communicating honestly with others. The more individuals can love themselves unconditionally, the more they can love others and engage in Creating Strong Healthy Families. In this workshop series, John teaches:

• Learning the stages of a healthy marriage • Discovering the secret of all successful marriages • Allowing children to be children • Learning alternative styles of discipline • Exploring six different parenting skills • Exercises on boundary creation • Developing emotional intelligence • Mirroring validating skills • Conflict resolution skills • Envisioning your part in creating a loving family life

In his workshop series Creating Strong Healthy Families, John uses the work of brilliant historian Stephanie Koonz on “deep democracy” to explore the myth of the traditional American family. John shows us how families have always adapted to the economic circumstances in which they had to survive. Since the end of World War II, several human rights movements have paved the way for "deep democracy," which is more directly participatory and demands absolute equality and freedom for all human beings. This new social environment has created a context where old-fashioned "virtue" is the condition of success, and through this concept of “deep democracy,” John describes a new understanding of a fully-functioning marriage and focuses on raising morally virtuous children for the future.

Some of John’s most popular and profound deep-feeling workshop intensives are the Inner Child Workshop, Finishing Your Business With Mother, Healing The Father Wound, and Healing the Shame That Binds You. These workshops are deeply enriching and spiritually awakening journeys for life. In these workshops, John is assisted by therapists who have been trained in the John Bradshaw methodology.

Over 2.5 million people have attended John’s presentations. John continues to present workshops on many topics throughout the world, training therapists, psychologists, educators, corporate leaders, and laypersons.

John, called one of the greatest philosophers and communicators of our time, continues his research and writing. His newest book, RECLAIMING VIRTUE: How We Can Develop The Moral Intelligence To Do The Right Thing, At The Right Time, For The Right Reason, will be out in the Fall of 2008 and will be published by Bantam. In this book, John deals with the unprecedented opportunity to live, teach and leave a legacy of virtue. Besides his work, John’s passions include his family, friends, sports, fishing and exploring the World with his beloved artist/wife Karen.




Date and Place of Birth: June 29,1933, Houston, Texas

EDUCATION: St. Thomas University,

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1955-1958, B.A.
Graduated Magna Cum Laude.
1960-1963, S.T.B.
(Bachelor of Sacred Theology) and
M.A. in Philosophy.

Rice University, Houston, Texas,
1969-1972, graduate work in
Psychology and Religion

University of California, Santa Monica, California 1997, M.S.P. (Masters in Spiritual Psychology)

Recipient of the Following Academic Awards: Trustees' Scholarship
John MacDonald Scholarship in Philosophy
Cardinal Mercier Gold Medal in Philosophy
Trustees' Gold Medal for Academic Excellence


Faculty, St. Thomas High School, Houston, Texas 1958-1960 Faculty, University St.Thomas, Houston, Texas 1963-1964 Faculty, Sacred Heart Dominican College, Houston, Texas, 1965-1970 Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Houston, Texas, 1966-1969 Chairman of the Religion Department Rice University, Houston, Texas, Teaching Fellow, 1969-1972 Management Consultant, Denka Chemical Corporation, Houston, Texas, 1977-1980 Texas General Resources, Inc., Board of Directors and Director of Human Resources Program, Houston, Texas, 1980-1983, Senior Fellow - The Meadows -1999-Present, CEO - John Bradshaw Media Group

Faculty, Ultimate Strength Conferences, The Houstonian, Inc., 1980-1982 Consulting and Counseling Practice, 1969-1988 Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Board of Directors, 1981-1988 Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Los Angeles, President, 1981-1988 The Life Plus Co-Dependency Treatment Center, National Director, 1987-1990  John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital, Founder and National Director, Los Angeles, 1990-1993 National Board of Directors – The Montessori Society Honorary Chairman-Capital Campaign – Council on Alcohol and Drugs— Houston Fellow-The Meadows Institute – Wickenberg Arizona Lecture Series at more than five thousand churches and synagogues worldwide, 1960-present


Bradshaw On: The Family - 1986 (Health Communications, Inc.)

Bradshaw On: Healing the Shame that Binds You - 1988 (Health Communications, Inc.)

Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child - 1990 (Bantam)

Creating Love - 1992 (Bantam)

Family Secrets - 1995 (Bantam)

Bradshaw On: The Family (Revised) - 1996 (Health Communications, Inc.)

Bradshaw On: Healing the Shame that Binds You (Revised)

Reclaiming Virtue: How To Develop The Moral Intelligence To Do The Right Thing At The Right Time For The Right Reason - Fall 2008 (Bantam)

For more information about John Bradshaw Media Group Contact Us Mailing Address: P.O. Box 667147 ● Houston, Texas 77266-7147 (800) 6BRADSHAW or (800) 627-2374 ● (713) 771-1300 ● Fax: (713) 771-1362Webpage: ● Email John: youcanheal@aol.comOrders & Customer Service: ordersatbradshaw@aol.comEvents and Requests for Speaking:

Video Clips and Interviews (partial)