Michael Shahnasarian, Ph.D.
Founder & President
1975 - 1979
Indiana University Bloomington
1979 - 1981
Texas A&M University
1982 - 1985
Florida State University
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology
Florida State University and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Postdoctoral residency work
Dr. Shahnasarian receiving an Ellis Island Medal of Honor award in 2022.
In 1986, Dr. Shahnasarian founded Career Consultants of America, Inc., (CCA) a private practice specializing in areas that include forensic analyses, specifically related to vocational and life care plan expert testimony. During the past 35 years, CCA has evaluated evidence across five continents contributing to the resolution of more than 5,000 litigated cases. Dr. Shahnasarian’s expertise in vocational and life care plan assessment has led to his retention domestically and internationally as a vocational and life care plan expert witness across 5 decades.
Additionally, CCA has served as a training and internship site for approximately 50 master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral students Dr. Shahnasarian supervised. Beyond providing students clinical supervision, he has lectured at universities and academic forums throughout the United States and internationally.
Over the years, Dr. Shahnasarian has contributed to advancing the state of practice in vocational rehabilitation and life care planning theory, research, and practice. Additionally, he has served in leadership positions within the profession, and has a longstanding record of human service work that has bettered the lot of people who have disabilities.
Dr. Shahnasarian has maintained privileges as a rehabilitation psychologist at hospitals in his locale, where he has provided pro bono rehabilitation counseling bedside to hundreds of injured patients experiencing difficulties adjusting to newly acquired, unwelcome lifestyle changes. Additionally, Dr. Shahnasarian has served his church, St. Hagop Armenian Church, as well as the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, in various leadership positions.
The author of 13 books and approximately 70 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and monographs, Dr. Shahnasarian’s publications are widely cited, and expert witnesses worldwide have been applying methods and techniques he developed. His work has also benefitted others with an interest in adjudicating damages claims – including judges and other triers of fact, lawyers, insurance adjusters, and people with disabilities. Beyond his published works, Dr. Shahnasarian has served on nine editorial boards publishing periodicals related to rehabilitation subject matter, and he has also been a guest editor.
Two Florida governors, Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush, appointed Dr. Shahnasarian to the Florida Rehabilitation Council, a board that advises the state’s governor on matters pertaining to rehabilitation in the State of Florida. He has also held significant leadership positions in professional organizations aligned with matters related to his clinical practice. Dr. Shahnasarian is a past-president of the National Career Development Association, and he has served as an officer on numerous professional association boards of directors. He is also a past chairman of the board of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Dr. Shahnasarian’s leadership – both in governance positions and as a research-practitioner – has led to invitations to speak at state, national, and international conferences of professional associations. Similarly, the media has sought his insights and commentary on rehabilitation-related issues of the day. Among the media organizations that have interviewed Dr. Shahnasarian are Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, US News and World Report, and Toyo Keizai. His media experience has also included serving as a columnist for the USA Today career web site, addressing workplace issues.
In recognition of his sustained and substantial contributions to his profession, three professional organizations (the American Psychological Association, the International Association of Life Care Planners, and the National Career Development Association) awarded Dr. Shahnasarian Fellow status. His professional recognition at the international and national level is extensive and includes Outstanding Practitioner of the Year awards from both the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association and the National Career Development Association. Additionally, the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association presented Dr. Shahnasarian its Distinguished Service Award.
Regarding his projects that earned awards, the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) presented Dr. Shahnasarian its W. F. Faulkes Award for his research undergirding the Earning Capacity Assessment Form (2nd Edition); this research spanned 3 decades and culminated in a validated instrument vocational experts worldwide have used in their damage’s assessments. The NRA also presented him an Excellence in Media Award for his novel, Justice Indicted.
All three universities that awarded Dr. Shahnasarian degrees presented him outstanding alumni awards. He also received “Health Care Hero” recognition from a business journal in his Tampa Bay, Florida, community.
The American Psychological Association presented Dr. Shahnasarian its Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue. Dr. Shahnasarian’s composite and longstanding business, scholastic, and professional and community service achievements, including to his Armenian-American heritage, led to the Ellis Island Honors Society awarding him a Medal of Honor.
Since 1986, Dr. Shahnasarian and his loving wife, Jean, have made Tampa their home. Their 40-year marriage has produced three children and, thus far, five grandchildren.