Richard J. Eichler
Dr. Richard J. Eichler joined Columbia Health in 1986 and has been Director of Counseling and Psychological Services since 1992 and its Executive Director since 2009. Prior to coming to Columbia Health, he worked at the Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he studied the delivery of health care services to disabled and chronically ill children, and provided psychotherapy to a culturally diverse population.
He has taught undergraduate courses in Human Development at Columbia College; graduate courses in both Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and in Developmental Psychopathology to doctoral candidates in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at Teachers College, and classes in adolescent development and in college mental health practice at the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program of the William Alanson White Institute. He has also served as a consultant to the College Mental Health section of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, and in collaboration with its membership co-authored a paper on responding to mental health crises on college campuses. He earned his B.A., M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. at Columbia University, and trained at a Veterans’ Administration clinic and at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he completed his internship in clinical psychology.
Dating back to his time at the VA, Richard maintains an ongoing interest in the welfare of veterans. Other areas of particular professional interest include psychological opportunities and pitfalls during adolescence and young adulthood; early intervention and prevention strategies; motivational interviewing; and the application of psychoanalytic thinking to brief therapy. Richard is also especially versed in helping students with learning disabilities navigate university life, and in helping young adults and their parents renegotiate their evolving relationships. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and community events, addressing topics as varied as transitioning to college; the social and emotional concomitants of learning disabilities; improving access to mental health care; and suicide prevention.
Early in his career, Richard co-authored papers and reports on services for chronically ill children, and more recently has contributed a chapter on developmental considerations to the text, College Mental Health Practice. He is the senior co-author of a chapter on fundamental counseling approaches and services in the text, Mental Health Care in the College Community. Another recent paper, "The University" as a (potentially) facilitating environment, appears in the August 2011 volume of Contemporary Psychoanalysis.