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Chris L. Heffner

Antioch University Seattle

Educational History

  • Specialization (2018), Foundations of Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Certification (2017), Solution-Focused Interventions, Framingham State University and
    the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy.
  • PhD (2013), Organization and Management, Capella University.
  • Post-Doctoral Residency (1998), Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Oakwood Center of
    the Palm Beaches.
  • PsyD (1997), Clinical Psychology, Nova Southeastern University. Pre-Doctoral
  • Internship (1997), Southern Illinois University Counseling Center.
  • MS (1993), Psychology, Nova Southeastern University.
  • BA (1991), Psychology and Business Administration, Malone College.

Teaching Statement

“I consider myself a strength-based and solution-focused practitioner and teacher. My role at AUS is not only to share knowledge, but also to build competence and confidence, and to inspire continued and deliberate self-growth. This often means working collaboratively with students to identify and maximize strengths and other resources and to directly address obstacles and challenges that restrict forward movement. I believe that aligning our values, strengths, and goals creates a flow that promotes this forward movement while minimizing resistance. Challenging students to work at the edge of their abilities promotes continuous growth that will hopefully become a welcome habit throughout their academic and professional careers. I work best with students who are forward driven, genuinely curious, and motivated to bring out the best in themselves and others. I believe these are the qualities of a successful psychologist.”

Dr. Heffner leads the Positive Psychology Lab, a research and interest group focused on positive psychology and strengths-based interventions in psychotherapy, assessment, supervision, and consultation. Recent research studies and dissertations stemming from this group have focused on psychological capital as a foundation for mental health, student resilience in the helping professions, the role of optimism in caretaker burden, flourishing with chronic pain, identifying character strengths, positive sexuality, and strength-based clinical supervision.

Positive Psychology, including Psychological Capital (Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism), Character Strengths and Virtues, Flow, Grit, and Well-Being. Strength-Based and Solution-Focused Interventions in Therapy, Evaluation, Clinical Supervision, and Consultation. Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the treatment of Depression and Anxiety. Survey Development and Online Research, Quantitative Methods, and Program Development.

Heffner, C. L. & Cowan, J. (2019). Foundations of effective strength-based clinical supervision: A start to finish approach. Program developed for and presented to supervising psychologists, mental health counselors. and clinical social workers in the Behavioral Health Program at Swedish Medical Center. Seattle, WA.

Heffner, C. L. & Cowan, J. (2019). The deliberate practice of effective clinical supervision. Program developed for and presented to supervising psychologists through the National Psychology Training Consortium [APA CE approved], Renton, WA.

West, I., Waters, D., Heffner, C., & Cohen-Filipic, J. (2018). Avoiding unhelpful responses: A proposed theoretical measure of readiness to work with transgender clients. Poster presented at American Psychological Association Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Heffner, C. L. & Cowan, J. (2018, May 1). Competency-based clinical supervision: Developing a competency-based approach to clinical supervision in primary care health-service psychology. Presentation given to supervising psychologists through the National Psychology Training Consortium [APA CE approved], Renton, WA.

Heffner, C. L. & Cowan, J. (2018). Overview of clinical supervision. In Azlin, C. (2018). Clinical PsyD supervision handbook. Seattle: Antioch University.

Heffner, C. L. (2016, May 21). Evidence-based assessment. Live didactic provided to Antioch University doctoral students, Seattle, WA.

Heffner, C. L. (2014, July 25). Leveraging your degree in the international marketplace. Live presentation given at The Chicago School’s International Psychology PhD Residency, Chicago, IL.

McIntyre, M. & Heffner, C. L. (2014, January 15). New ideas for effective learning and mentoring. Live presentation given at the Capella University Leadership Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Heffner, C. L. (2013). Does student perception of quality matter: A study of perceived academic quality and intention to persist, PhD Dissertation, Capella University.

Heffner, C. L. and Crews, C. (2013, January 24). Fostering a relational environment in a blended program. Poster presentation at the 2013 National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) Midwinter Conference, Nassau, Bahamas.

Crews, C. & Heffner, C. L. (2012, January 18). Practicum readiness evaluation: A competency based model for evaluating readiness to begin clinical training. Poster presentation at the 2012 National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) Midwinter Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Heffner, C. L. (2011, January 19). Education and Training in 2025: Issues in Technology. Live presentation given at the 2011 National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) Midwinter Conference [APA CE approved]. San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Heffner is a core faculty member in the Clinical PsyD program. He teaches Foundational Clinical Skills, Interventions II, Consultation and Supervision, Community Psychology, and Career Management, and oversees the Clinical Oral Examination. He is a founding member of and and has a private clinical and consulting psychology practice.

Dr. Heffner has a background in community mental health, clinical supervision, academic leadership and student counseling, and program development and consultation.

Licensed as a Psychologist in the State of Washington (PY60518621).

Member, American Psychological Association [APA], Divisions 12 (Clinical Psychology) and 13 (Consulting Psychology).

Member, Washington State Psychological Association [WSPA].

Core Faculty, PsyD Program,

School of Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy


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