Profile: xavier.amador

Dr. Xavier Amador is an internationally renowned clinical psychologist and leader in his field. As a forensic psychologist, Dr. Amador has worked on many infamous cases, including that of Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Jared Loughner , Wanda Barzee (the Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping), Zacarias Moussaoui (the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker), PFC Lynndie England (Abu Ghraib prison scandal) and the 9/11 conspirator cases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has worked on over 50 death penalty cases in the US, most of which never reached the international headlines. His expertise has been called upon by government, industry and the broadcast and print media where he has appeared as a frequent expert for CNN, ABC News, NBC News, NBC Today Show Fox News Channel, CBS 60 Minutes, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Cosmo, Wall Street Journal and many other national and international news outlets. His work as a leading individual, family, child and couples’ therapist has been featured on PBS NOVA, ABC Prime Time Live, and NBC Bravo where he has been filmed doing psychotherapy with couples and individuals. He is the author of many popular books including I am Right, You’re Wrong, Now What?; I am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!; When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to help without losing yourself; and Being Single in a Couples’ World: How to be happily Single and Open to Love. Dr. Amador draws on thirty years of experience as a therapist, his personal story, and solid research when giving advice. Dr. Amador is currently a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York. For over two decades he also served as Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University and Professor of Psychology at New York University. Previously he was also the Director of Research, Education and Practice for the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), member of the Board of Directors, NAMI; member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Serious Mental Illness and the Death Penalty; and, Chair of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Press, 2000). Dr. Amador is the founder of the LEAP Institute, which was originally developed to teach families, health professionals and responders how to better help people with mental illness. Today LEAP is also taught to defense attorneys, judges, and even couples, families and businesses to heal strained relationships and build strong partnerships. You can learn more about the LEAP Institute at




December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.

October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE