Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. is best known as author of the internationally best
selling book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-proof Marriage. Over three million copies have been purchased, and it is available in twenty-two foreign translations.
Dr. Harley earned a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of California
at Santa Barbara in 1967 and has been a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Minnesota since 1975. For the first ten years after earning his degree, he taught psychology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. During those years, he was also a frustrated part-time marriage counselor with little success in helping couples.
In 1973 he discovered that he was not alone in his failure to save marriages -- almost everyone in the marital therapy profession were also failing. So he spent the next two years designing an entirely new approach (see How Dr. Harley Learned to Save Marriages). When his success rate skyrocketed in 1977, he resigned from his teaching position to counsel full-time. Over the next ten years his solo practice developed into the largest network of mental health clinics in Minnesota (thirty-two locations) with over one hundred psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and chemical dependency counselors working with him to provide
a full range of mental health services. He became the exclusive provider of mental health and chemical dependency services in ten counties, and had offices in other counties as well.
One of his responsibilities was to write support materials for the clinical program he directed. He created over one hundred questionnaires and wrote numerous articles that were given to clients as part of their therapy. Among the materials he wrote was His Needs, Her
Needs, which was first published in 1986. Although it was written to be a support text for
his marriage counseling program, within three years it had become a national best-seller
and a basic reference for marriage counselors throughout the nation.
By 1988 he found himself spending almost all of his time administering his clinics, and very little time doing what he enjoyed most -- improving his marital therapy program. So he began turning his clinics over to the counselors who worked with him, and the ownership of his last clinic was transferred in 1993. Since then, he has written 18 more books and hundreds of articles.
Dr. Harley and his wife, Joyce, are actively involved in the Marriage Builders® Online Program, which introduces couples to his highly successful plan for marital recovery. An online seminar offered by Dr. Harley kicks off a one-year home study program that includes personal accountability. He supervises the progress of those who enroll, and answers their questions on a special Marriage Builders Weekend section of the Forum.
Dr. and Mrs. Harley also host a daily one-hour call-in show, Marriage Builders Radio. It can be heard on radio stations and on the Internet. They have been married for 50 years and live in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. They have two adult children, who are now working with them as marriage coaches, and four grandchildren.