Michael J. Mahoney (1946-2006)
As reported in the Newport Daily News Obituary Section, Dr. Mahoney died unexpectedly at home on May 31, 2006. He was an influential psychologist of religion, who also was an active weighlifter and was involved in sport psychology.
The following remembrance comes from Adami A. Gabriel, who studied with Dr. Mahoney:
Dr. Cristiano Nabuco de Abreu, my professor in Brazil, first introduced me to the field of constructivism. At that time Dr. Abreu told me that I should get acquainted with the work of Dr. Michael J. Mahoney. I started reading a few articles and book’s chapters that I had available in Portuguese and Spanish. So impressed with his post-modern view of psychotherapy we stamped our class t-shirt with Mike’s thought “the psychologist is the guardian of the idea that life is worthy” and I still have it. Slowly but steadily, a huge intellect started to rise up before me. At first I was amazed that I was understanding that grandiosity so easily and thought it was my great intellect… Poor me, when I had the opportunity to get together for a lunch with Mike at Applebee in Denton, TX suddenly in his presence I could realize that he was the one bringing in me that such wonderful feeling that I was great…Then it dawned upon me that I had understood a little bit of his grandiosity, the capacity for make people around him feel valuable. For me, beyond all his intellectual accomplishments this humanistic characteristic was what most affected my life forever, I’m sure.
I want to extend my sympathies and condolences to his family (people that I don’t know but am deeply linked by this loss) and also to all who were close to him and learned to love him and appreciate him as a professional, a person, and a colleague.
Adami A. Gabriel
From Brazil but living in Flower Mound TX
Attending a doctoral program at
Texas School of Professional Psychology at
If you have access to a reference library, you can read Michael's obituary that appears in the American Psychologist (January 2008, vol. 63 no. 1, pp. 53-54). In it, Mervin Smucker writes a moving account of Michael's life. If you are a colleague who would like to provide a reflection on Mahoney's life and work, contact Michael Nielsen at the link below.
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