Welcome to Doug Henderson's Home Page: Psychology/Adoption/Fireworks--

What else do you need?

Hello! This is my small contribution to the global village called the Internet. Here you will find out a little about me, my interests, and my hobbies, and get a chance to visit some places I think are worthwhile, fun, or both! Below you can see me at play. To see me at my computer when I was at the University, with a pen in my teeth (very typical!), check out the alternate photo of me in the UWSP Psychology Department Home Page Faculty Section.

Doug with big glasses.Copyright , 1995, Carl Philabaum

Doug on  his ATV plowing through water Doug offering up a generous handful of mud

At the end of the Spring Semester of 2001, after completing my 25th year as a faculty member, I retired from my position at the University. I have very much enjoyed what I hope will be another, equally exciting and challenging, 25-year phase of my life. When I retired I still loved what I was doing, but the joy factor had begun to decline, and I wanted to quit while I still liked what I did, and while I was still doing it well. I have not regretted my decision!

As a member of the first generation of "Boomers", I turn 59 in October of 2005. Since who I am is in large part related to what I have experienced, a bit of my history may help you understand me better. I grew up in the Buffalo , NY , area, and graduated from St. Lawrence University ( Canton , NY ) with a B.S. in psychology in 1968, and from The Ohio State University ( Columbus , Ohio ) with a Ph.D. in psychology, in 1973. I started my career by working for just over 2 years as a clinical-child psychologist at the Columbus Children's Hospital. The Spring Semester of 2001 marked the end of my 25th, and last, year on the faculty of the Psychology Department here at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Over the last 30 or so years I have experienced a lot of things, the most important of which have been marriage number one (1973), sobriety (1978), cancer (1981), search for and reunion with my birth family (1983), divorce (1984), and a now-22-year relationship with Susan Gingrasso (head of the Dance Program for over 25 years here at UWSP) and her son, Carcheri, who turned 24 in September of 2004. He is a Second Degree Black Belt in Karate, an Eagle Scout, is living in an off-campus apartment, and graduates in May of 2005. A photo of Susan is to the left. In late March of 1998, after over 14 years of "dating," I finally felt ready to ask Susan to marry me. (Of course it didn't hurt me to get to this point when she gave Photo of Susanme an ultimatum to marry her or end the relationship in mid-January!) During the summer of 1998, we spent three weeks of June in Europe , bought a new house (July first), sold my house, (July 31st), and sold Susan's house (September 15th). On August 23rd, 1998 , we were married as part of the annual "Sunday in the Park" service that our church holds.

One of the most exciting and growth-producing periods in my life was the four months I spent in Madrid , Spain during the Spring Semester of 1988 as the faculty leader of the UWSP Semester Abroad program there. The experience was so positive that Susan and I applied to be the leaders of the University's Semester in London program for the Spring of 1997. We were there, and then traveling in Europe , from early January through June of 1997. Carcheri went along with us and lived with the UWSP students at the International Students House. I think that international travel is one of the best ways to grow and expand one's horizons that there is, and I heartily encourage it. UWSP London groups live at the International Student's House, (ISH), located in the heart of the action in central London . You can see photos of the House and get other helpful information (such as a map of the ISH vicinity) by going to their web site.

Along the way my life interests and my life experiences have intersected with each other, and this has led me to several places I might never have thought I'd be. In May of 1981 I had testicular cancer, and while I would never recommend surgery and chemotherapy as a fun way to spend a summer, the cancer experience did lead me to an increased interest in my birth family and health history, and eventually to an increased appreciation of the spiritual dimension of life. While I don't think I will ever believe that the cancer experience was a "good" thing in my life, it is true that many of the "good things" that I now enjoy as part of my life have either a direct or indirect relationship to my having had cancer. My subsequent search (and my reunion with four birth sisters and one birth brother), my 25-plus years of sobriety, (assisted by the discovery that my birth father died of alcoholism three months before I found him), and my marriage to Susan (in which I find continual joy and growth) are the three best decisions I have ever made for myself. And of course, my continuing involvement with adoption has also been rewarding both personally and professionally.

These experiences have led me to an even greater awareness of spirituality, and to the discovery of Jung's concept of synchronicity. This, along with my activities in the adoption search and support area, led to an appearance on the NBC television show "Unsolved Mysteries" to comment on the eerie coincidences between adoptees and their birth relatives. The first broadcast of "my" episode of that show "coincidentally" aired on my 48th birthday! That segment has been rebroadcast several times, and has now entered the apparently-eternal world of syndicated cable-channel reruns. An appearance on "The Other Side", a now-canceled talk show focusing on paranormal phenomena, followed closely after the "Unsolved Mysteries" broadcast. In early 1997, several days after I had left the country for London , a third interview of me was aired on "Sightings", a program exploring the paranormal on the Science Fiction Network.

For several years a UWSP Psychology Department colleague, Tom Rowe, and I collaborated, using several of our students as research assistants, on a research project. We developed a technique for measuring a baseline of occurrences shared between strangers, against which to judge reports of synchronicity. This work led to two publications in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The second paper was co-written by Tom, Jessica Lemke, and Eric Pitsch, (former UWSP psychology students). A paper I wrote on "Sexuality and the Adoptee", another of my interests, was also published in 1995 in a professional journal called Adoption Therapist (volume 6, number 3). All of this activity was something the University, of course, appreciated.

Because I got valuable help in my personal search from several search and support groups, I wanted to be able to offer the same type of help to others in their searches. In 1985 I became the founder and leader, for eight years, of the Stevens Point Chapter of Adoption Information and Direction, a triad-based search and support group that operated a chapter in Stevens Point until the summer of 2003. In May of 1996 I completed three years as State President of this group, and in the fall of 1995 I began work with the American Adoption Congress, (AAC). My first position with the AAC was as their Director of Professional Relations and Continuing Education, and in 1999 I left that position and was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Director. I also served for about 4 years as a member of the AAC Executive Committee. I have recently become interested in topics of particular importance to male adoptees, and have been leader or co-leader of several programs on male adoptee issues presented at American Adoption Congress annual conventions. In 1999 and 2000, several UWSP students of mine presented papers reporting research we are conducting in the area of the need for training in adoption issues for the mental health community. During my last year of teaching, I served as the co-guest editor of a special adoption issue of the Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless which was published in October of 2000.

I was on a sabbatical leave from the University for the Fall semesters of 1996 and 1997 to work on completing the book I am writing about my search and reunion, and what it has meant to me. My book, titled "There Are More Like Me: Search, Reunion and Synchronicity in Adoption," is now 99 percent complete and has been reviewed by several experts in the adoption field. I presented a convention session on the book at the American Adoption Congress Annual Convention in Bellevue , Washington in April of 1998. At present I have (temporarily, I hope!) set the book aside while I complete some other projects in my life that are of greater importance to me personally. I hope to return to work on the book in the relatively near future. (This having been said, however, potential publishers please note: this is an open request to contact me, any time, any place, if you are interested in my book!)

While you can probably figure out which of my life interests (as listed below) are professional and which are personal, I feel very lucky because for the vast majority of my working career, I had a hard time deciding when I was working" and when I was  "playing"! My father's advise to "get an education and find a job that you can enjoy" certainly turned out to be correct.

Here are some of the ideas and activities which I enjoy:

Below I have added links to places on the Internet that have information related to several of my life interests


         Wisconsin Pyrotechnics Arts Guild Home Page The WPAG is the local Wisconsin pyro club, of which I have been a member since 1996, and Secretary Treasurer since 2002. I took several of the photos on the club page.

         Pyrotechnics Home Page The Pyrotechnics Guild International, Inc. is one of the major national organizations for pyro lovers, hobbyists, and distributors. I attended the PGI conferences in 1995 (Plover, WI), 1996 ( Muskegon , MI ), and 1997 ( Amana , IA ). Due to my wedding and moving in the summer of 1998, I missed the PGI annual convention in Gillette , WY , but Susan and I attended both the 1999 and 2000 conferences in Fargo , North Dakota , the 2001 conference in Appleton , WI , and the 2002 and 2004 conferences back in Fargo .  I attended the first part of the 2003 conference in Gillette , WY , leaving early only because of attack of kidney stones! Susan will be presenting another workshop on choreographing fireworks at the 2005 PGI Convention in Mason City/Clear Lake Iowa in August.


         St. Lawrence University Home Page My undergraduate Alma Mater.

         The Ohio State University Home Page My graduate Alma Mater.

         The Ohio State University Psychology Department Home Page My graduate school department.

And now for something rather interesting: there is another Doug Henderson with a Web page, in fact he has his own domain, which can be found at doughenderson.com! And he looks suspiciously like me! Could this be yet another case of synchronicity at work? Could we be twins, separated at birth? If so, which of us is the evil one?!! Check his photos out at Doug's Pointless Playground. Then look again at my photo at the top of this page, and at the photo of me in my office with a pencil in my mouth on the UWSP Psychology Department Home Page Faculty Section. Tell me what YOU think! Is there something about being named Doug Henderson that makes one grow a beard and put silly photos of ourselves in the office on our internet home page? (Cue spooky music.)

Please feel free to mail me comments by using the middle button below. Thanks for visiting my page!

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This page is updated whenever I find new neat stuff, or am avoiding another task I'd rather NOT do!

The most recent update of this page was May 14, 2005.