Dr. Holly Parker


Hi, I’m Dr. Holly Parker (or Dr. Holly, as I’m more playfully known). I’m a psychologist with a passion for walking alongside people as they invest in their future selves by cultivating a more enriching, healthy, connected life in the here and now. 

I obtained my Ph.D. in experimental psychopathology from Harvard University, where I conducted research and was a Karen Stone Fellow and Sackler Scholar. My desire to help people uplift their lives in therapy lead me to re-specialize in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Presently, I engage in clinical work, teaching, public education, and writing. I’m a lecturer at Harvard University, where I teach The Psychology of Close Relationships. I’m also a psychologist in private practice. In my clinical work, I’ve worked with people across an array of issues, including relationship enhancement, self-esteem, trauma, mood, anxiety, emotion regulation, health and lifestyle, addiction, grief and loss, and those varied spaces in life that are formidable yet ultimately freeing to face.     

I’m the author of two books. When Reality Bites: How Denial Helps and What to Do When It Hurts (Hazelden Press, 2016) is a guided tour through the benefits and the pitfalls of denial. If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?: How to Build Intimacy with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner (NAL, 2017) accompanies readers hoping to mend emotional unavailability in their romantic relationship. 

I also delve into an assortment of topics devoted to relationships and personal growth in my blog on Psychology Today and in media interviews through outlets such as SELF Magazine, Bustle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Prevention, The Chicago Tribune, ABC News, The Saturday Evening Post, and Medical Daily.

I live in Boston with Guille, my extremely cool husband and kindred spirit, relish running, traveling, studying Spanish and French, reading time travel stories, and watching mystery shows, and I have no skill whatsoever in pet training.