Paul Thayer

Image of professorChair of Child Life and Family Studies and Associate Professor of Education and Child Life
Email: pthayer@wheelock.edu
Phone: 617-879-2350
Office: Hawes 113, Brookline Campus

Educational Degrees

B.A. (Psychology) 1976, University of Connecticut
M.A. (Psychology) 1979, Assumption College
M.Div. 1984, Yale University
D.Min. 2007, Boston University

Paul Thayer's research interests include pediatric hospice, therapeutic boundaries in professional care, spirituality and illness, and bereavement care for children.

Prior to teaching at Wheelock, he was the director of palliative care at Franciscan Children's Hospital, director of the Sandcastles Pediatric Hospice Program, director of the Chilton House residential hospice, director of the Hospice at Mission Hill (the nation's first inpatient AIDS hospice), and a Child Life Specialist at Emerson Hospital.

Selected Publications

Thayer, Paul (2009). Meeting the spiritual needs of children with chronic and life threatening illness. In Nancy Boyd Webb (Ed.), Helping children and adolescents with chronic and serious medical conditions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Thayer, Paul (2009). Spiritual care of children and parents. In Ann Armstrong-Dailey and Sarah Zarbock (Eds.), Hospice care for children, Third edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Thayer, Paul (2008). The impact of church closings on Catholic youth: Implications for clergy, church leaders, and parents. VDM Verlag Publishers.

Thayer, Paul (2006). Navigating family relationships in child life. Child life focus. 24(3).

Selected Presentations

  • April 2010 "Developing a Model for Family Centered Care." Hospital of the King's Daughter, Norfolk, VA
  • September 2010 "Professional Boundaries in Pediatric Care." Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Hospital, New York, NY

Courses taught

Thayer teaches graduate and undergraduate child life courses including Child Health Systems, Clinical Issues in Child Life, and Child Life Administration and Program Development. He teaches graduate courses on Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Grief, Issues in Death Dying, and Bereavement Care. Additionally, he regularly teaches courses in the Wheelock College Singapore program including Helping Children Cope with Stress, and Leadership for Organizational Change in Education

Research interests

College students and grief
Development of constructs for professional boundaries

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