Dr. Whelan is Director of the Virginia Child & Family Attachment Center (formerly Co-Director of the Mary D. Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic at UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. He earned an undergraduate degree at The University of Chicago, and has done graduate work in psychology at Chicago and The College of William and Mary where he received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. He completed a clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and joined the faculty of the UVA School of Medicine where he was for 16 years in Pediatrics, Psychiatric Medicine, and Research Psychology.
Dr. Whelan has been a principal investigator with research funding from NIH, and focuses on developing assessment methods and intervention approaches to support health and healing in attachment-caregiving interactions. He provides training courses in the Preschool Attachment Coding system, the Attachment Security Intervention for treatment of high-risk attachment-caregiving patterns, experiential courses for caregivers, and provides training to child welfare professionals. He has given invited lectures at national and international conferences, and has published articles and book chapters regarding attachment, development, and intervention.