Curtis M Paulsen

Professor Emeritus

CB 66

My professional experience – including a seventeen year stint as a consultant on the Pine Ridge Reservation, agency administration, radio production, consultation with profit and non-profit organizations, and private practice – is varied, but left me with many impressions, none more important to me than this realization: Our work with people is very complex requiring as much knowledge and skill as we can master.

In my work with students, interactive as possible, I invite us to 1. go deeply into topics and 2. link them to various other ideas into new possibilities for understanding and effective practice. For example, systems theory, very interesting and useful, is enlivened when combined with intrapsychic theories, such as those of Carl Jung and Melanie Klien, as well as with the teachings from novels, poetry, art, etc.

And, just as our study is extended by way of imagination, our work with clients is enchanted if we can invite them to entertain new possibilities by way of freedom, responsibility and identity in the context of empathy. To engage in this work, it seems to me, is to be blessed with meaning and potential, two important dimensions of vocation and my own research interests.


  • B.A. St. Olaf College
  • M.S.W. University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D. The Fielding Institute