Valerie Tarico is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings. Raised in a staunch fundamentalist family, Valerie attended Wheaton College, where the Billy Graham Center houses a museum dedicated to the history of Evangelism in North America. She obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa before completing postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington. She subsequently joined the staff of Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Seattle and ran Children’s Behavior and Learning Clinic in Bellevue, Washington, before moving on to a private clinic.
For years Valerie maintained a psychotherapy practice and practiced “don’t ask, don’t tell” about matters of faith. But as it became clear that George Bush and Evangelicals were opening a public conversation about Christianity, she decided to join the fray. She shrunk her practice and began writing and speaking about fundamentalism, American style. Her articles frequently are featured at TruthOut and ExChristian.net. “TrustingDoubt’s Channel” on Youtube offers life tips and insights for recovering fundamentalists. Only one of her brothers thinks that she is actually channeling Satan.
Not satisfied with spending her life energy critiquing all-too-familiar orthodoxies, Valerie is actively engaged in interspiritual dialogue that aims to find common ground in humanity’s shared moral core. She speaks regionally to churches and secular groups about topics such as moral development, the psychology of belief, and wisdom convergence as well as the dark side of orthodox dogmas. She is the founder of WisdomCommons.org, an interactive site that allows users to find and discuss information about virtues that emerge repeatedly across secular and religious wisdom traditions.
Valerie Tarico’s essays can be found at Away Point.