Paul Birch

Paul Birch

Department Faculty and Director, Research Engagement
  • Assistant Professor
    M.A. MFT and PsyD MFT

  • The Chicago School Los Angeles
MFT/Faculty Development
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

Paul James Birch, Ph.D. has been with the Chicago School since 2011. His mission is to contribute to family health in America by developing innovative methods for training stronger practitioners, creating effective, accessible, pervasive family interventions, and combining with other organizations to inspire social movements that strengthen families. He has extensive experience in using research to improve programs, couples therapy, and sexual addiction treatment. Paul and Janet Birch are parents of five children and reside in Ventura County area where they love spending time together, going to the beach, playing sports, and participating in church activities.

  • Ph.D., Psychology- Research and Evaluation Methodology Specialization, Utah State University
  • M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Utah
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Utah
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Intern- California (IMF70174) Licensure anticipated 2013
Areas Of Expertise

Select Presentations

  • Birch, P.J., & Johnson, I. (2012). Clinician-driven Model for Developing Evidence-based Treatment of Internet Sexual Addictions. Presentation made at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. San Antonio, TX. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2012): Increasing the value of your marriage program and proving it to others: Seamless evaluation tools that work. Workshop to be presented at the National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education. Baltimore, MD. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2012): A Bird Emerges From the Whirlwind: How the Sex Education Debates Can Ignite Relationship Education in America. Workshop to be presented at the National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education. Baltimore, MD. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2010). Panelist. A public health approach for advancing sexual health in the United States: Rationale and options for implementation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Atlanta, GA. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2010). Prove it, improve it, repeat. Presentation to the National Abstinence Education Association conference. Washington, DC. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2010). Reframing the sex education debate. Invited presentation to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Annual Conference of the Secretariat for pro-life activities. Chicago, IL. 

  • Institute for Research and Evaluation (2009). Sex education: Scientific evidence and publish policy. Briefing provided to the U.S. House of Representatives. Washington, DC. 

  • Birch, P.J., Culbreath, A., & McClellan, M. (2007). Why evaluate? What’s in it for me? Presentation to the 2007 Administration for Children and Families Healthy Marriage Initiative Grantee Conference. Washington, DC. 

  • Birch, P.J. (2004). A comprehensive self-management approach to overcoming compulsive pornography use. Invited training workshop presented to Utah LDS Family Services therapists. Provo, UT. 

  • Birch, P.J., Weed, S., & Olsen, J. (2004). Effects of Community Marriage Policies® on divorce rates. Invited poster presented at the annual conference of Smart Marriages, Happy Families. Dallas, TX.

Select Publications

  • Peer Reviewed Publications
    • Weed, S., Ericksen, I., & Birch, P.J. (2005). An evaluation of the Heritage Keepers® abstinence education program. In Evaluating Abstinence Education Programs: Improving Implementation and Assessing Impact, Alma Golden (Ed.). Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC. 

    • Birch, P.J., Weed, S., & Olsen, J. (2004). Assessing the impact of Community Marriage Policies® on U.S. county divorce rates. Family Relations 53, 495-503. 

    • Werner, C.M., Stoll, R.W., Birch, P.J., & White, P.W. (2002). Clinical Validation and Cognitive Elaboration: Signs that encourage sustained recycling. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 24(3), pp.185-204. 

    • Larson, J.H., Peterson, D., Heath, V.A., & Birch, P.J. (2000). The relationship between perceived dysfunctional family-of-origin rules and intimacy in young adult dating relationships. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 26, 161-175.

  • Books and Book Chapters
    • Holman, T.B., Birch, P.J., Carroll, J.S., Doxey, C., Larson, J.H., Linford, S.T., & Meredith, D.B. (2001). Premarital Prediction of Marital Quality or Breakup: Research, Theory, and Practice. Plenum Publishers. New York.

  • Manuscripts in Preparation (to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals in 2012)
    • Weed, S.E., Birch, P.J., Ericksen, I.H., & Olsen, J.A. (manuscript in preparation). A latent model statistical mediation analysis of a sex education program effects on youth sexual behavior outcomes. To be submitted to Journal of Primary Prevention. 

    • Birch, P.J. (manuscript in preparation). Causal mechanism model for explaining program effects on youth sexual intercourse behavior outcomes. To be submitted to Journal of Adolescent Health or Adolescent and Family Health. 

    • Ericksen, I.H., Birch, P.J., & Weed, S.E. (manuscript in preparation): A closer look at the evidence for the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention programs: A systematic review. To be submitted to American Journal of Health Behavior. 

    • Birch, P.J. (manuscript in preparation). Exploratory evaluation of a clinic-based sexual risk avoidance program. To be submitted to Prevention Science or similar journal. 

    • Birch, P.J. (manuscript in preparation). Descriptive evaluation of a comprehensive marriage mentoring program for low-income minority couples. To be submitted to Family Relations or similar journal. 

    • Birch, P.J., & White, J.M. (manuscript in preparation). Meta-analysis of abstinence-centered program effects on key attitudinal predictors of sexual activity. To be submitted to Journal of School Health or similar.

Community Involvement

  • High Council Member: Newbury Park Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health


Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.

A. Lead by example, get students involved in real-world applications, have fun, and put their progress at the top of my priorities. 

Q: Please describe your philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.

A. Lead by example, teach principles, practice behaviors, have fun, and genuinely care. 

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology? 

A. During my first psychology class, it was the first time I had ever really cared about what I was learning in school. I felt a sense of calling to the profession. 

Q: What advice would you give a student entering The Chicago School? 

A. Get excited, get ready, take the time to learn all the policies and timelines, and jump in with both feet. Don’t get too scattered with too many things to do.