The genesis of Strozzi Institute’s methodology began in the late 1960’s. While earning his PhD in psychology, founder Richard Strozzi-Heckler, became intrigued by the psychology of mastery – a subject already part of his own experience as a competitive athlete and martial artist.
Richard studied with many teachers and innovators of the time — Dr. Randolph Stone, Magda Proskauer, Doris Breyer, George Leonard, Li Li Tau, Thomas Hanna, Saotome Sensei and Charan Singh — to look at the most effective ways to produce holistic change: change that engaged meaning, intellect, emotion and body; and produced new actions and competencies.
In 1970, Richard founded Lomi School with Dr. Robert K. Hall, Alyssa Hall and Catherine Flaxman. Using his research on holistic change, Lomi worked to further personal excellence, transformative change, leadership and team building among therapists, psychiatrists, counselors and other health professionals.
During this time, Richard was also deepening his own personal proficiency through the martial art of Aikido, earning a 6th degree black belt. By integrating Aikido and bodywork principles with his leadership and holistic change work, an integrative and innovative field developed that we now call Somatics – the unity of language, action, feeling and meaning.
Somatics is based on the understanding that the mind, the body, the self, and our rationality are inextricably linked; to develop one, you must cultivate the others. Modern neuroscience is now catching up with Somatics, offering the psycho-biological grounding for the work.