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John Elliot Bradshaw (born June 29, 1933 in Houston, Texas) is an American educator, counselor, motivational speaker and author best known for his PBS television programs on topics such as addiction, recovery, codependency and spirituality. Bradshaw is active in the self-help movement, and is credited with popularizing such ideas as the "wounded inner child" and the dysfunctional family. His books are mainly works of popular psychology. In his promotional materials and in interviews and reviews of his work he is often referred to as a theologian.[1]



Bradshaw was born into a troubled family and abandoned by an alcoholic father. Bradshaw won scholarships to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood. He earned a B.A. in Sacred Theology degree and an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto in Canada. Six years after his 1963 graduation, Bradshaw returned to academia at Rice University in Houston, Texas, doing three years of graduate work in psychology and religion. Bradshaw says alcohol addiction and other problems led to his decision to end his plans for the priesthood.

Bradshaw is the author of six books, several of which held top slots as New York Times bestsellers; his book Homecoming reached No. 1. During the 1980s and 1990s he hosted a number of PBS television broadcasts based on his books. He has served on the board of directors of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program and as the national director of the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

John resides in Houston, Texas, with second wife, Karen, an artist.


Bradshaw's résumé includes over 800 television and radio appearances and interviews; 600 magazine and newspaper articles; over 5000 keynotes, lectures and talks; and 1,600 workshops.

Throughout the 1970s, John served as a management consultant at Drillco Manufacturing Company and as a leadership trainer at Denka Chemical Company. He was also director of human resources and served on the board of directors of Texas General Oil Company. John is the developer and presenter of workshops for forty Fortune 500 companies and thousands of evolved non-profits and for-profit institutions.

He has presented lectures and workshops for educational, professional and social organizations since 1964. He has served as: member, board of directors and as president of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (1981-88); national director of Life-Plus Co-Dependency Treatment Center (1987-1990); founder and national director of the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital in Los Angeles (1991-1997); and member, national board of directors of The International Montessori Society (1990-present). He is an honorary lifetime board member of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs in Houston.

Since 1999, John has also been a senior fellow at The Meadows Institute. The Meadows is a multi-disorder inpatient facility in Arizona specializing in the treatment of a range of addictions. The facility's intensive treatment focuses on drug and alcohol addiction, sexual addictions, depression, eating disorders, psychological conditions, affective disorders and compulsive behaviors. It takes a holistic approach to addiction recovery and includes a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, including the Twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In 1991, John was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host for his series Bradshaw On: Homecoming and his newest book Reclaiming Virtue, published by Bantam, a division of Random House, is Pulitzer nominated.

John has appeared on Oprah, Geraldo, Sally, Dr. Ruth, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Politically Incorrect, CNN-Talk Back Live, and Sirius Radio.

John is the author of five books, three of which are New York Times Best Sellers, and he has sold over 10 million copies. His books are published in 42 different languages.

In 1999, John was nominated by a group of his peers as "One Of The 100 Most Influential Writers On Emotional Health in the 20th Century." John is widely sought as a public speaker and continues to tour the world doing lectures and workshops. Over 2.5 million people have attended his talks.

John continues to write and travel the country training therapists, social workers, judges, attorneys and the everyday person.


  • Bradshaw On: The Family - 1986
  • Bradshaw On: Healing the Shame that Binds You - 1988
  • Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child - 1990
  • Creating Love - 1992
  • Family Secrets - 1995
  • Bradshaw On: The Family (Revised) - 1996
  • Reclaiming Virtue: How To Develop The Moral Intelligence to Do The Right Thing At The Right Time For the Right Reason - Spring 2008

PBS television:

  • Spotlight: weekly program (host), 1969-1972
  • The Eight Stages of Man: eight-part series, 1982
  • Bradshaw On the Family: ten-part series, 1985
  • Where Are You Father?: one-hour program, 1986
  • Healing the Shame that Binds You: one-hour program, 1987
  • Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families: two-hour program, 1988
  • Surviving Divorce: ninety-minute program, 1989
  • Bradshaw On Homecoming: ten-part series, 1990
  • Creating Love: ten-part series, 1992-1993
  • Eating Disorders: three-part series, 1994-1995
  • Bradshaw On: Family Secrets: six-part series, 1995
  • The Bradshaw Difference: syndicated talkshow produced by MGM, 1996




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