Stanton Samenow
Stanton Samenow is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 and writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....


"Dr. Stanton Samenow received his B.A. (cum laude) from Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 in 1963 and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

 in 1968...In 1978, Dr. Samenow entered the private practice of clinical psychology
Clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development...

 in Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

. His specialty has continued to be the evaluation and treatment of juvenile and adult offenders. Dr. Samenow has delivered lectures, training seminars, and workshops in 48 states, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, to a variety of professional groups including mental health, law enforcement, corrections, education, social services, and the judiciary. He has served as a consultant and expert witness for a variety of courts and agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

, and the U.S. Office of Probation. In 1980, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 to the Law Enforcement Task Force and in 1982 to the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime. In 1987, President Reagan appointed him as a Conferee to the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 Conference on a Drug-Free America. Dr. Samenow has authored numerous articles for professional publications and appeared frequently on national radio and television broadcasts, including 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

, The Phil Donahue Show
The Phil Donahue Show
The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue, is an American television talk show that ran for 26 years on national television. Its run was preceded by three years of local broadcast in Dayton, Ohio, and it was broadcast nationwide between 1967 and 1996.In 2002, Donahue was ranked #29 on TV Guide's...

, Good Morning America
Good Morning America
Good Morning America is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour aired between 2007 and 2008 exclusively on ABC News Now...

, The CBS Morning News, the Today Show and The Larry King Show."

Early life and education

Stanton Ethan Samenow was born in 1941 to Charles (d. 1972) and Sylvia Samenow (d. 1995).


From 1970 through 1978, Dr. Samenow worked as a clinical research psychologist for the Program for the Investigation of Criminal Behavior at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. With Dr. Samuel Yochelson, the findings of their clinical research-treatment study of offenders were published in the three-volume set entitled The Criminal Personality. Since 1978, Dr. Samenow has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist in Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...


Many states have adopted treatment programs based on Dr. Samenow's research, largely in state correctional facilities. In his videos, it becomes apparent that he likes to let his patient talk while he mentally logs any cognitive distortions. He then educates the patient on those cognitive distortions that were heavily used. In theory, a patient will use less and less cognitive distortions, eventually reaching a point where covert sensitization can be employed to abruptly halt criminal thinking patterns.

The Criminal Personality, Volumes I, II & III was featured in the penultimate episode of HBO's series The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

 and prompts Dr. Jennifer Melfi, a fictional therapist in the show, to re-evaluate whether the therapy she gives mafia boss Tony Soprano
Tony Soprano
Anthony John "Tony" Soprano, Sr. is an Italian-American fictional character and the protagonist on the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, on which he is portrayed by James Gandolfini. The character was conceived by The Sopranos creator and show runner David Chase, who was also largely...

is actually beneficial to his criminal behavior.


  • The Criminal Personality, Volumes I, II & III (1976, 1977, 1986)
  • Inside the Criminal Mind (1984)
  • Before It's Too Late (1989)
  • Straight Talk About Criminals (1998)
  • In the Best Interest of the Child (2002)
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition (2004)
  • The Myth of the Out of Character Crime (2007)


  • Good Intentions, Bad Choices: Overcoming Errors in Thinking
  • Commitment To Change I: Overcoming Errors in Thinking
  • Commitment to Change II: Tactics—Habits That Block Change
  • Commitment to Change III: The Power of Consequences

External links

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