Member Spotlight: Richard J. McNulty, PhD

Name:  Richard J. McNulty, PhD

License #:  6240

Bio:  Dr. Rich McNulty is the Director of Assessment at Greenleaf Psychological and Support Services. He has experience providing psychological evaluations across clinic, hospital, school, and academic medical university settings. Dr. McNulty completed his APA-accredited doctoral program at the University of Memphis, as well as an APA-accredited residency at Munroe Meyer Behavioral Pediatrics (UNMC) and a clinical fellowship at the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. He also has experience administering neuropsychological assessments at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and performing psychoeducational evaluations in school settings. Dr. McNulty has published in the area of psychological assessment, and particularly enjoys making assessment results transparent and understandable for stakeholders so they can best advocate for evidence-based interventions. Dr. McNulty specializes in completing psychological evaluations across the lifespan for a wide range of presenting concerns, including psychoeducational evaluations, neurodevelopmental evaluations (Autism, ADHD, intellectual disability), gifted assessments, and diagnostic clarifications for difficult psychological concerns. Aside from assessment, Dr. McNulty’s clinical interest and specialties include the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) and anxiety related disorders. He also has experience within inpatient and outpatient settings providing treatment for adolescents and adults with concerns related to mood disorders and parent behavioral management. Dr. McNulty utilizes empirically supported treatment modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), exposure response prevention, and unified treatment protocols. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Dr. McNulty provided behavioral support in an alternative middle school for 8 years and has also worked extensively with trauma-involved parents and children as a case manager for foster care services in New York. 

In his free time, Dr. McNulty loves spending time with his wife and daughter. They particularly enjoy high altitude mountain climbing and are working on summiting many of the highest peaks in the United States. As natives of New York, they particularly love spending time in the Adirondack Mountains. He also enjoys photography, running and playing the guitar badly.   

1)      What attracted you to the field of psychology? “The mind-brain connection and fascination with how the brain can be associated with such rich functioning of our minds that we take for granted. I became – and continue to be - really interested in OCD and anxiety-related issues. It’s amazing to me how the functional patterns of conditions like OCD can be so consistent across a population, e.g., checking, fear of contamination, harm, etc., but also how for each person, there is always a personal uniqueness to it for them as well. My interest in psychology just went on from there.”

2)      What do you enjoy most about your work? “I love demystifying mental health concepts and making psychoeducation and treatment more accessible. I enjoy using social context, metaphors, and examples to disseminate evidence-based treatment in supervision.”

3)      What advice would you give someone who is considering getting a degree in the field of psychology? Make this a form of vocational play. The reinforcement schedule in our field includes really delayed reinforcers, so it’s important to find ways to develop satisfaction in the process of learning, not just the outcome. ‘Play’ clinically and academically by becoming curious. Also, a curious clinician becomes broad-minded and avoids hyper-specialization; you can see how the work you are doing is connected to so many other disciplines. As Newman once suggested (in my own words), ‘Learn broadly enough that you are worthy of refuting.’”

4)      When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing? “Spending time with my family and mountain climbing. We love the Adirondacks and are avid winter climbers.”  

5)      What is something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know? “I survived an avalanche in the Cascade mountain range of Washington state. I was not hurt.”

6)      If you were not a psychologist, what would you do? “I would probably be a professor of philosophy or a park ranger.”

7)      What is the next place on your travel bucket list? “I loved the Middle East and would go back again, or the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia.”

8)      What are you currently reading or listening to? “The podcast is ‘Fluster Clux’ by Lynn Lyons. She is really down to earth and offers great suggestions for helping kids with anxiety.”

9)      What is your favorite word and why? “ ‘Gainsay’, an old Victorian word that means to deny or contradict. I think it would be great to bring it back into usage.”

10)  What is your least favorite word or phrase and why? “ ‘Red Sox’. I am a diehard Yankees fan!”