Congratulations to John on the publication of his second creativity-themed book! 

DRIVING FORWARD IN REVERSE:50 Metaphors for Counselors, Teachers, and Life Coaches to Help Others Navigate Life, is John McCarthy’s latest book, written along with Melissa Lake, M.A.

John McCarthy, Ph.D., is becoming more and more well-known for his passion for stimulating creativity, which he accomplishes through teaching, speaking, and writing. He has 29 journal publications and over 60 professional presentations.  His professional writings have been featured in the, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Buffalo News,, Counseling Today, and the Psychotherapy Networker.  Prior to his newest book, Driving Forward in Reverse, he wrote The Innovator Next Door: 50 Stories of Creative Inspiration to Spark New In-the-Box Thinking (2020, Suncoast Digital Press).  

John has been fascinated with creative thinking and problem-solving since childhood.  Inspired by seven older siblings, he learned the art and science of practical jokes early in life.  His interest in the “outside the ordinary” extended to the playground where friends quickly improvised plays in football huddles, devised trick shots on the basketball court, and found unusual ways to throw a whiffle ball from a pitcher’s mound.  

He abandoned his dream of playing second base for the Boston Red Sox after high school and instead pursued a degree in mass communication from St. Bonaventure University. He subsequently earned his doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.  

He has had the pleasure of being in the university classroom for over 25 years, starting with a two-year stint at National Chengchi University in Taiwan.  John served as an academic visitor at the University of Cambridge in Spring 2011 and has offered professional presentations on creativity thinking and other mental health-related topics in Turkey, Singapore, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, England, Canada, and Taiwan.  

In his sixth decade, he hopes to hike in Indonesia and Uganda, host a show on PBS, study improv and Mandarin, and continue to marvel at others’ creative stories.  His blogs can be found at

[kate – for link to my coaching page- use different font than article so it doesn’t look like part of article]

Ready to get your own creative juices flowing? Here’s how Barbara Dee can help:

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