Wright Institute was established in 1968 by the distinguished psychologist Nevitt Sanford, a pioneer in the integration of social issues and clinical psychology. Sanford believed strongly in the capacity of adults to continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. His developmental approach and emphasis on the possibilities of lifelong learning form a key part of the foundation on which the Wright's educational programs are built.
Sanford was also influential in shaping American clinical psychology educational standards. In 1947, he was appointed by the American Psychological Association to the committee that established criteria for accrediting programs in clinical psychology. Under his leadership, the Wright Institute broadened the educational scope of clinical psychology training to include an emphasis on understanding the diverse society in which we live.
Wright Institute is to educate students to be critical thinkers and ethical problem solvers, to address community and societal needs, and to function effectively as professionals in a diverse society. Wright Institute is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The Wright Institute's Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association's Committee on Accreditation. In its most recent review, the American Psychological Association's Committee on Accreditation awarded the Psy.D. program seven years of continued accreditation. The Wright Institute's Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program is approved by the Board of Behavioural Sciences (BBS).
The San Francisco Bay Area offers a multicultural, cosmopolitan environment that attracts an extraordinary community of psychologists, scholars and other intellectuals from around the world. Students benefit from the area's abundance of clinical training settings, as well as leading educational and research institutions including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University.