In 1999, dr. Birgisson and dr. Albert Ellis, clinical psychologist,
the revolutionary founder of REBT, the first CBT model,
at Leifstod Airport, Iceland.
Gunnar H. Birgisson PsyD is a clinical psychologist and a couples and family therapist. His theoretical orientation is in Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RE & CBT); Couples and Family Therapy; and in Positive Psychology. He began doing individual and group therapy in 1979, initially with delinquent adolescents and their families.
Gunnar has a private practice in Reykjavik. Also he is a Director of the Student Psycholgy Clinic at the University of Iceland, Psychology Department.
He graduated from California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles where he specialized in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and in Couples and Family Therapy.
Dr. Birgisson has presented at professional conferences and for general audiences on topics such as RE & CBT, Forensic Psychology, Custody Evaluation, Family Mediation, and Positive Psychology,
Dr. Birgisson practices clinical hypnosis and mindfulness. His style in doing psychotherapy is interactive and solution-focused. He provides support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges and achieve their goals. He integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer an approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, he works with each individual to help solve his or her problems, build character strengths and attain personal growth.
Brief Curriculum Vitae
Nov 16, 1993 Licensed Psychologist in Iceland.
Apr 14, 1998 Licensed Psychologist in USA, Lic.# WI 2080.
Nov 03, 1999 Licensed as an Expert in Clinical Psychology in Iceland.
1991 - 1993 Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D),
California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP),
Los Angeles, USA.
1989 - 1991 Master of Arts (M.A.), CSPP, Los Angeles.
1986 - 1989 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik.
1998 - present Society of Experts in Clinical Psychology.
Secretary, 1999 – 2008.
Member on the Committee on Child Custody and Visitation Litigation Issues 2009-2016.
1993 - present Icelandic Psychological Association.
Board of Licensing Committee, 1997 – 2006.
1995 - present Cognitive Behavior Therapy Society, Iceland.
2002 - 2006 Hypnotic Therapy Society, Iceland.
1993 - 1996 Union of Icelandic Psychologists. Treasurer, 1994-1996.
2013 - present University of Iceland, Board of Psychological Licensing Committee.
Current Professional Work
2013 - present Director at Student Psychology Clinic at the University of Iceland, Psychology Department. Provides clinical training and supervision for Cand. Psych. students.
1993 - present Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice, since 1998. Provide therapy and consultation based mainly on Cognitive Behavior Therapy; Positive Psychology; and Couples- and Family Therapy. Forensic assessment. Child Custody Evaluations. Assessor and Mediator for courts.
2000 - present Mediatior in Custody and Visitation Cases. Contracted by the Ministery of Justice and Human Rights and the Chief Legislative Offices.
1995 - 1998 Clinical Psychologist, and Chief of Counseling, 1997 - 1998. Also, Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) Advocate Coordinator, 1996 - 1998. US Navy Family Service Center,
Iceland Defense Force, Keflavik. Provide treatment for individuals, couples and families. Conducted workshops in Stress Management, Anger Management, and Couples
Communication. Consultation and General Military Training. Full time.
1993 - 1995 Chief Psychologist. Children's Welfare Board of Iceland. Conducted psychological assessment of children and parents in termination of custody cases. Half time position.
1992-1993 Psychological Intern. Metropolitan Clinical Counseling, CIGNA Healthplan, Manhattan Beach, California. Supervisors: John Minor, Ph.D. and Robert Cutrow, Ph.D. Provided assessment and treatment for mental health patients. 20 hours a week, 800 practice hours.
1992-1993 Psychological Assistant. Pacific Professional Associates in Van Nuys and Camarillo, California. Supervisor: Raymond E. Anderson, Ph.D. Provided group therapy with sex offenders, 6 hrs. a wk., 120 hrs.
1991-1992 Psychological Intern. Orange Coast College, Student Health Service, Mental Health Department, Costa Mesa, California. Supervisors: Roselyn Colombo, Ph.D., Duncan Wigg, Ph.D. and Kenneth Fineman, Ph.D. Provided psychotherapy and psychological assessment for individuals, couples and groups of students. 20 hrs. a wk., 752 hrs.
1990-1991 Psychological Practicum. Pacific Professional Associates in Van Nuys, California. Supervisor: Raymond E. Anderson, Ph.D. Provided individual and group therapy for sex offenders and victims of sexual abuse. Also, psychological assessment. 15 hrs. a wk., 500 hrs.
Summer 1991 Counselor. Department of Social Service, Reykjavik, Iceland, Provided psychotherapy and consultation for adolescents and their families. Full time. 480 hrs.
Summer 1988 Counselor. Department of Social Service, Reykjavik, Iceland. Provided psychotherapy and consultation for adolescents and their families. 480 hrs.
Summer 1987 Director. The Icelandic National Church Summer Campus, Vestmannsvatn, S-Thingeyjarsysla, Iceland.Directed a staff of nine, taking care of 50 children, ages 6-13, and a new group every week. Also, ran a week program for blind and elderly people. 16 hrs. a day, 2 months.
1986-1987 Assistant Therapist. Treatment Center for Neurotic Children, Reykjavik Municipal Hospital. Provided therapy for children, ages 6-11, with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and other childhood disorders. Full time.
1983-1986 Psychiatric Aid. Department of Social Services in Reykjavik Municipal, Kopavogur Municipal, and Hafnarfjordur Municipal. Supervision of delinquent youth and parent training. Part time.
1979-1986 Assistant Therapist. State Treatment Center for Delinquent Adolescents, a residential home and a crisis center. Provided therapy and supervision of adolescents with various behavior problems, and family therapy, and crisis intervention. Full time.
Birgisson, G. H. (2016). Fjölskyldusáttameðferð í deilum foreldra um börn. Í Andri S. Björnsson, Guðfinna Eydal og Katrín Kristjánsdóttir (ritstj.), Af sál: Greinasafn handa Álfheiði Steinþórsdóttur sálfræðingi (bls. 171-200). Reykjavík: Háskólaútgáfan. (Family mediation in parental conflict about children. In Andri S. Bjornsson, Gudfinna Eydal and Katrin Kristjansdóttir (eds.), Of Soul: Collection of Articles for Alfheidur Steinthorsdottir psychologist (p. 171-200) Reykjavik: University Press).
Birgisson, G. H. (2016). Börn sem hafna samvist við foreldri sitt. við foreldri sitt. Morgunblaðið 28. maí 2016.
Birgisson, G. H. (2010). Jákvæð sálfræði. Vefrit Sálfræðingafélags Íslands. (Positive psychology. The Icelandic Psychological Association's Web Journal).
Birgisson, G. H. (2010). Sálfræðimeðferð í deiglunni. Vefrit Sálfræðingafélags Íslands. (Psychotherapy Debated. The Icelandic Psychological Association's Web Journal).
Birgisson, G. H. (2009). Foreldra firringar heilkenni (PAS) í forsjárdeilum: Blekking eða þekking? Tímarit lögfræðinga, 2, 165-195. (Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in custody and visitation litigation: Wisdom or deception? Icelandic Law Journal, 2, 165-195.)
Birgisson, G. H. (1998). Stand by yourself. Reykjavik: Upptok.
Birgisson, G. H., Greenfield, H., & Hart, J. (1997). Counseling Standard Operating Procedures. Keflavik: Naval Air Station, Family Service Center.
Birgisson, G. H. (1996). Differences of personality, defensiveness, and compliance between admitting and denying male sex offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 11, 118-125.
1993-present Written various articles in newspapers on psychology. Often appeared on TV and radio shows discussing psychotherapy, custody and visitation litigation, child protection, and domestic violence.
Provided seminars and lectures
Jan-apr. 2011 The Works of Psycologists in Child Custody and Visitation Litigations. Seminar of the Society of Experts in Clinical Psychology. Borgartun 6, Reykjavik. Eight lectures:
(1) The Guidelines of the American Psychological Assonciation.
(2) Interviewing Adoelscents.
(3) Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ).
(4) DSM-IV & ICD-10 Personality Questionnaire (DIP-Q).
(5) Evaluation of Serious Accusations. Visitation Hindrances.
(6) Evaluation of Serious Accusations. Abusers in Physical and Sexual Abuse.
(7) Priciples in custody Litigation. The Best Interest of Children and the Guidlines from American Psychological Assonciation (APA).
Positive Psychology: Using Ones Strengths and Virtues Through Economic Depression.
Empowerment with Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Positive Psychology.
Positive Psychology: Answer to Depression, Power for Public Health.
Positive Psychology: Prevention of Depression.
Coordinated Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) workshops for US Navy family advocacy.
Workshops in Stress Management; Anger Management; and Couples Communication. .
Power of Cognition.
The Use of Psychological Tests for Parents and Children.
Children in Court Settings.
Selected Conferences & Seminars
March 2011 Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain. Patt Lind-Kyle, Ph. D., Kripalu Center, Massachusettes. 15 CE.
Jan-apr. 2011 The Works of Psycologists in Custody and Visitation Litigations. Seminar of the Society of Experts in Clinical Psychology. Borgartun 6, Reykjavik. 40 hrs.
October 2010 Mindfulness. Workshop. Icelandic Society of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Mosfellsbær. 10 hrs.
April 2010 Psychology Conference. Icelandic Psychological Association and the psychology division of the Universisty of Iceland. University Square, Reykjavik. 6 hrs.
October 2009 Workshop in Positive Psychology. Fostering meaning in life to support well-being: Using strengths for something greater. Michael Steger, Ph.D. Institute of public health, Reykjavik, 3 hrs.
August 2009 Positive Psychology. Robert Biswas-Diener og Dóra Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir. Reykjavik University, 12 hrs.