Robert Atkinson

Robert Atkinson

Robert Atkinson, Ph.D., is an internationally acknowledged authority on life story interviewing and a pioneer in the deeper techniques of personal mythmaking and soul-making. His books in these areas have been translated in to three languages and are widely used in personal growth and life review settings.

The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness (2017) has been praised as “…A must-read by the widest of global audiences…” by Michael Bernard Beckwith, and as “… An important contribution to the evolutionary dialogue…” by Philip Goldberg. Larry Dossey said of it, “Consider Atkinson's book as a survival manual, and spread it as widely as possible.”

Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul’s Story (2012), was called “an exquisite exploration of the spiritual craft of soul-making” by Jean Houston, and Thomas Moore said his memoir, Remembering 1969: Searching for the Eternal in Changing Times (2008), was “profound, friendly, inspiring, and nostalgic… I loved it.”

Atkinson's other books include, Songs of the Open Road: The Poetry of Folk Rock and the Journey of the Hero (1974); The Teenage World: Adolescents’ Self-Image in Ten Countries (1987); The Gift of Stories: Practical and Spiritual Applications of Autobiography, Life Stories, and Personal Mythmaking (1995; translated into Japanese, 2005); The Life Story Interview (1998; translated into Italian, 2002, and Romanian, 2006); The Beat of My Drum (2005), an autobiography with Babatunde Olatunji; and, Latino Voices in New England (2009).

With a BA in Philosophy and American Studies from LIU, Southampton, and MA degrees in American Folk Culture from SUNY, Cooperstown, and in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire, his Ph.D. is in Cross-Cultural Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Atkinson is professor emeritus at the University of Southern Maine, and director of Story Commons. He was the first Diversity Scholar in the College of Education and Human Development at USM, and a co-founding faculty of the Russell Scholars Program and the Religious Studies minor. He was also a faculty member on the fall 2002 Semester at Sea voyage around the world.