Newsletter Article

Alumni Profile: Dr. Jordan Houghton

“Be boundless. Do not let the limitations of any one course dictate your future in this field. There are so many amazing opportunities to seize as a UW psychology major.” 

Jordan Houghton, Psy.D. 
UW Psychology Alumnus (BA, 2015) 

Boundless is definitely a word that describes how Dr. Jordan Houghton approached his undergraduate studies in psychology and how he lives his life now. Jordan transferred to UW in 2013 from Pierce College following four years of service as a healthcare specialist/combat medic in Afghanistan with the United States Army. 

“When I applied to UW it was sort of a dream,” recalls Jordan, “so, when I was accepted I immediately went full throttle into the psychology program.” He notes that while the work was challenging and some of the material hard to master, what he found most interesting was the ability to learn from some of the leading experts as well as young scholars newer to the profession. Jordan participated in research, fieldwork, peer teaching, and was active in student organizations such as the Washington Gaming Association and Husky United Military Veterans. 

Jordan has fond memories of classes with Professor Emeritus Jaime Diaz, of being a peer TA for Lecturer Jacquie Spector, and of Advising Office Director Carrie Perrin who he credits with being a mentor throughout his time at UW. He encourages today’s psychology majors to engage in fieldwork and peer teaching and to participate in the vast amount of psychological research being conducted at this top-tier university. “Push for what you want,” he urges, “and don’t hesitate to reach out to the amazing Psychology Advising Office!” 

Following graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in the summer of 2015, Jordan took a “gap year” before embarking on the next leg of his education. He entered the Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) program at Northwest University which he chose “because of the counseling focus and the sheer amount of flexibility with research.” In this program, Jordan found the therapeutic alliance - a measure of the therapist's and client's mutual engagement in the work of therapy - to be the most interesting and inspirational aspect of his studies. It would ultimately be of primary importance in his emerging practice. “It really emboldened me to harness my identity as a veteran and find a way to work with other veterans,” explains Jordan. 

Today Jordan wears three very big hats. Ever a Husky, he works as the Assistant Director for the Office of Student Veteran Life here at UW. He is also prepping to get his private practice in counseling off the ground where he will focus on trauma, veterans, and diagnostic and forensic psychological assessment. And, his most beloved and important role… being a new dad to his baby daughter Willow. Jordan’s final words of wisdom for psychology majors who aspire to enter the helping professions: “Your studies are invaluable and with the increasing need for mental health practitioners and support staff, it is even more crucial than ever that you continue on your path. And… Go Dawgs!” 

Are you an undergraduate alumni of UW Psychology? We'd like to hear from you! What have you been up to since your time in the Department? Drop us a note at