Somatic Coaching with Richard Strozzi Heckler


The body is central to a Somatic Coaching practice. In Somatic Coaching we work with the self, the whole person, through the body.



When we say “body” we use it in the somatic sense of the word, which from the ancient Greek means the living body in its wholeness. The body, in the somatic sense, expresses our history, commitments, roles, dignity, identity, authenticity, moral strength, moods, and aspirations as a unique quality of aliveness we call the ‘self’.

The goal in somatic coaching is becoming someone who can take actions that were previously unavailable to them. To make sustainable shifts in our behavior and way of thinking, we have to “embody” new schemas. The path to achieving such embodiment is established through a series of recurrent practices of mind, emotions, language and body. This new embodiment is integrated by building new interpretations of meaning and future possibilities. It is this dynamic process which we will explore in the upcoming master class session.

In this interpretation the body and the self are indistinguishable. In Somatic Coaching we work with the self, the whole person, through the body. Asking clients to commit to practices that allow them to embody new skills and behaviors; this is entirely different than having an insight or a cognitive understanding.

Richard works with the premise that the ‘self’ is the leader’s primary source of power. Who one is as a person, that is, the self that one is, ultimately becomes the deciding factor in success as an exemplary leader.

Clearly intellectual capacity and specific technical skills matter, but alone they do not make a powerful, effective leader. When we speak about the cultivation of an authentic self we are not referring to self-esteem training, personality development, or self-improvement seminars. These are processes where one may feel better about oneself, but they may not necessarily lead to new actions or improved performance.

About Richard:  Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Ph.D. is a nationally known speaker, coach and consultant on leadership and mastery.

He is co-founder and President of Strozzi Institute, which offers consulting and coaching services to individuals and companies worldwide. Over the past 35 years he has researched, developed and taught the practical application of Somatics (the mind/body interface) to leadership and business management. His clients come from such diverse fields as medicine, business, psychology, education, technology, finance, government and the military. He was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for a leadership program he introduced into the US Marine Corp.

Dr. Strozzi-Heckler’s pioneering work in Somatics and Leadership has developed into a revolutionary new approach to coaching. Dr. Strozzi-Heckler has a Ph.D. in Psychology and is a sixth degree black belt in Aikido. He is an advisor to NATO and consults with the U.S. Special Operations Command in a Somatic Approach to Counter-Terrorism. He is the author of 7 books including the nationally acclaimed In Search of the Warrior Spirit, The Anatomy of Change, Holding the Center, The Mind/Body Interface, Aikido and the New Warrior and Being Human at Work and most recently , The Leadership Dojo, was published in September of 2007.


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