About The Author

— Ira Heilveil, Ph.D.

Ira Heilveil is a clinical psychologist, board certified behavior analyst, and private pilot.   He grew up around New York city, moving from the Bronx to Queens to Brooklyn, with a quick stopover in Framingham, Massachusetts when he was 10.  In high school he moved to Orange County, California, and then entered the U.C. system, first going to Irvine and then graduating from Santa Cruz, with a major in psychology, and minors in writing and photography.  He received his master’s in psychology from Murray State University in Kentucky and a Ph.D. from CSPP in Los Angeles.

His original research interests focused on double bind theory and nonverbal behavior, although he has done some research in autism and the prediction of violence as well. He maintained a private practice as a psychologist for many years in Westwood and Glendale, and in the 1980’s worked first at the San Fernando Valley Child Guidance Clinic and then at Verdugo Mental Health Center, where he was the asst. clinical director.  In 1988 he started his own company, which eventually developed into Pacific Child and Family Associates.  After roughly 25 years at the helm, his association with the company that came to a close.  Currently, he is asst. clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, and president and CEO of Touchstone Educational Consultants.

He has published two books– When Families Feud and Video in Mental Health Practice, as well as research articles, presentations and poetry in small literary journals and most recently produced the film Autism in Love, selected by the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for an Emmy award.   The film, directed by Matt Fuller, won several prestigious awards and premiered on television on the PBS series “Independent Lens.”  In 2013 he received the Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the California Psychological Association, in part because of his charitable work with autism in Armenia.  In 2013 and 2014 he was also given the Outstanding PBL Tutor Award at Geffen UCLA School of Medicine.

At a relatively late age (50) he fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a private pilot and through this blog he shares observations and insight about how flying airplanes relates to the struggles of everyday life.   You are invited to join the discussion by entering your email on the sidebar to receive free weekly posts of Clear For Takeoff.

10 thoughts on “About The Author

  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the difficulty is one thing that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very joyful that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something relating to this.

  2. Hi Dr. Heilveil. I read your article in this month’s issue of The Therapist and talked about it in my blog theautismonion.tumblr.com. Hope you’re able to check it out.

  3. This guy walks into a psychiartrists office with a duck sitting on his head.

    The Doctor says, So, you want me to get that duck off your head ?

    And the Duck says, No, Doc, I want you to get this guy off my ass.

    Sorry. I’m just happy to be able to reconnect with you.

  4. What a remarkable guy you are! This publication is terrific. Thank you for letting us know about it!

    Anne Marie and George of Tehachapi’s Original Apple Shed

  5. I didn’t know about your blog until Vera sent me a link this last week. I owe you a lot for the help you gave us with our autistic son Dane. He was able
    to go to regular school and graduate from Saddleback College thanks to your support. Thank you, thank you! So sorry for the pain and agony you are going through with cancer right now. I have friends that have gotten through the same cancer but in the right side of the jaw and are clear now. Just know our whole family is thinking of you with love and hope they take care of it so you can get back to your regular life. Love, Vivian, Dane, Dean and Dom Bottino

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