John Montgomery, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology


I am the developer of ‘Homeostasis Psychology,’ a new framework that integrates neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary biology, and various Eastern and Western ‘spiritual’ traditions, to provide a unifying account of adaptive and maladaptive behavior. The framework also includes a powerful therapeutic method that is a new integration of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness traditions. I use this therapeutic method in private practice to help people overcome a wide variety of psychological ills, including depression, anxiety disorders, drug addiction, and alcoholism.

Based on a large body of evidence from the neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology literature, Homeostasis Psychology proposes that, under conditions of ‘evolutionary mismatch’ – that is, conditions where people or animals live in environments, such as modern cities, that they are not well-equipped for evolutionarily or biologically – a dysfunctional ‘drive’ towards distressing, ‘non-homeostatic,’ or out-of-balance emotional states can effectively develop. The framework suggests that this dysfunctional drive develops because the stress hormones released by painful, distressing emotional states can, much like addictive drugs, become unconsciously rewarding or reinforcing in the brain. β-endorphin, for example, which is the primary ‘pleasure’ chemical in the brain and is released in large quantities by various addictive drugs, is also a fundamental part of the stress response, and is known to be released into ‘reward’ areas of the brain not only during states of pleasure, but also during states of pain and emotional distress. Many other lines of evidence support the idea that stress hormones may become rewarding or reinforcing in the brain. Rats under laboratory conditions, for example, have been shown to compulsively self-administer their own stress hormones much as they compulsively self-administer addictive drugs. Stress hormones and addictive drugs have also been shown to trigger almost identical synaptic changes in key neural circuits known to be involved in reward and addiction.

Guided by this overall theoretical framework, the Homeostasis Psychology therapeutic method uses a number of powerful tools to help weaken or eradicate the addictive drive and strengthen the healthy, natural ‘homeostatic drive,’ the biological force that continually seeks to bring us into homeostasis, or equilibrium, at all levels. For more information, visit


Ph.D., 1996 (Neuroscience), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

B.A., 1987 (Molecular and Evolutionary Genetics), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Courses Taught

Sensation and Perception

Cognitive Psychology

Selected Publications

Berlin, H. & Montgomery, J. (2017). Neural basis of intrapsychic and unconscious conflict and repetition compulsion. In Christian, C., Eagle, M. N., & Wolitzsky, D. L. (Eds.), Psychoanalytic perspectives on conflict. New York: Routledge

Montgomery, J. (2016). The homeostatic classroom: A new framework for creating an optimal learning environment. In Gonzalez, K. & Frumkin, R. (Eds.), Handbook of research on effective communication in culturally diverse classrooms (pp. 66-92). Hershey, PA: IGI Global

Montgomery, J. & Ritchey T. (2010). The Answer Model: A new path to healing. Santa Monica, CA: TAM Books

Montgomery, J. & Ritchey, T. (2008). The Answer Model Theory. Santa Monica, CA: TAM Books


Telephone: (917) 244-5161