Utah Psychological Association

UPA Annual Graduate Student Scholarship in honor of Bruce V Parsons, PhD

September 27, 2017 9:01 PM | Tom Mullin (Administrator)

The Utah Psychological Association is designating one of its annual graduate student scholarships in Dr. Parsons’ name.

Please consider a donation in Dr. Parsons’ name to: 

Utah Psychological Association Graduate Student Scholarship Fund

Utah Psychological Association
5442 South 900 East, Suite 512
Salt Lake City, UT 84117


Optimizing Autism
24 South 1100 East #210
Salt Lake City, UT 84102 

Bruce V. Parsons, PhD

Bruce worked for almost 40 years as a clinical psychologist, providing  approximately 90,000 hours of direct psychotherapy to a wide range of individuals, families, and couples. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with a PhD in Clinical Psychology. During his first post-graduate position, as the clinical director of Salt Lake Community Mental Health (1973-1975), he forged life-long professional and personal relationships with several psychologists with whom he continued to collaborate and practice until the time of his death.

He was the founder of Functional Family Therapy (FFT), widely considered to be a gold standard for clinical research and practice in the area of family therapy. FFT is the only family-based, evidence-based practice endorsed by the CDC for violence prevention and the National Institutes of Health for evidence-based interventions with adolescents and their families.

For the past ten years, Bruce focused on understanding and serving adults with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders). He was a driving force behind Optimizing Autism and a personal friend and mentor to many of its staff and participants. 

Bruce served as an Adjunct Associate Professor Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He was also an Associate Professor of Research at the Social Research Institute, University of Utah (1995-2009), and Associate Professor in Child Welfare at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Utah (1995-2009).  

Bruce is survived by his wife, Joanne Hinson; daughter Molly (Tom) Parsons Shook; two grandchildren, Allie and John Shook; step-son Philip Hinson; two brothers, Craig and Ken Parsons and their families; and many life-long friends and colleagues.

Bruce has left behind a strong legacy in those he helped and the methods he developed after many decades of working as a researcher and a therapist. His consummate skills and service as a psychologist, and as an advocate for the autism community will be truly missed.

Dr. Nanci Klein

Director of Professional Affairs,

Utah Psychological Association

UPA Address: 5442 South 900 East, Suite 512 | Salt Lake City, UT 84117 |(801) 410-0337
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