Dr. Heckler has worked in the field of counseling, psychological growth and healing for the past 30 years. Trained by some of the world’s most noted teachers, from many clinical orientations, he has expertise working with individuals, couples and families and offer mindfulness-based work in San Rafael, San Francisco, and online throughout the U.S. and the world. Through the post-graduate institute he founded and directed for 21 years - The Hakomi Institute of San Francisco - Dr. Heckler's has trained a number of generations of psychotherapists in the SF Bay Area, the U.S. Many therapists now practicing in the bay area have studied the Hakomi Method - a mindfulness-based, somatic psychology - through these trainings.
Academically, Dr. Heckler served as an Associate Professor and Adjunct faculty in a number of graduate psychology programs including the California Institute for Integral Studies in in the Bay Area, the Union Institute for Experimental Studies, in Ohio, and John F. Kennedy University where he taught for over 25 years, and served as Department Chair, Co-Director of the university counseling center, and Coordinator of the Buddhist Psychology Emphasis program within the Counseling Graduate School.
Richard's work draws heavily on Buddhist psychology, somatic psychology - the psychology of the body, mindfulness-based approaches to personal exploration, and a comprehensive understanding of systems theory as it applies to individuals, couples and families. This type of approach represents the forefront of the profession at this time.
People who work with Richard hail from all walks of life, from many different professions, but are joined in their desire for greater effectiveness in their lives, for surmounting a sense of insufficiency and self-doubt, and for greater awareness and ease. Using mindfulness-based approaches, he sees professionals who have been quite successful and are now wondering how to deepen into a greater sense of meaning and purpose; artists who are wanting to find deeper sources for their creativity; individuals, couples and families in general wanting to understand how to negotiate the complexities of everyday life using contemplative tools and tools based on the psychology of practice.
Additional creative pursuits have always augmented and informed his work. Richard is a published author, having written two psychological, non-fiction books. The first, Waking Up, Alive, became a critically-acclaimed study of recovery from suicidality for which he was featured on many national news programs including 20/20 and Good Morning, America. In 2014, Waking Up, Alive was re-issued online. Richard has just completed a novel - a first foray into fiction and for many years, beginning originally in newspaper work, he has been a professional photographer, specializing in landscapes in the west and cultural portraiture in Asia. All photographs on these pages are Richard's. Additional photo work can be found at rhalexanderphotography.com.