Meet the Founder

Robert O'Block photo

Robert O'Block, PhD, PsyD
Founder and Publisher
American Psychotherapy Association

Dr. O'Block knew that education was the best way to better himself. He paid his way through college by working as a law enforcement officer. Through no small feat, O'Block finished his bachelor's degree in three and a half years. While in college, he became interested in criminology, which would become a driving force in his life.

At 24 years of age, Dr. O'Block had earned a bachelor's degree and three graduate degrees in different fields, including a PhD. He achieved all of this while working full time in law enforcement. When Dr. O'Block became an assistant professor in the Department of Administration of Justice at Wichita State University teaching criminal justice at the age of 25, he continued to serve his community as a reserve deputy sheriff, without pay. His experience in law enforcement gave Dr. O'Block real life experience that was beneficial to him in teaching the science of criminology and provided him with first hand insight when he wrote his first book, a textbook entitled Security and Crime Prevention.

Later Dr. O'Block became a professor and the chairman of the Department of Administration of Justice at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. Although he was department head, he wanted to continue his education and he did so by focusing on forensic handwriting analysis. He learned that this type of training was limited to a select few. Not letting this be a deterrent, Dr. O'Block, having always been a crusader for justice and seeing that there was a need for a scientific organization that provided training in forged documents which was open to all levels of practitioners and professionals, he created one himself in a spare bedroom of his home. He named the organization, the American Board of Forensic Handwriting Analysts (ABFHA). Before the year was over, ABFHA had 200 members.

As he built the association, Dr. O'Block continued to work as a professor. It was during nights and weekends that he developed certification programs and published the first edition of a newsletter that would later become The Forensic Examiner®. As the organization grew, so did the needs of its members. The focus of the association was expanded to include other areas of forensic studies and it was renamed the American Board of Forensic Examiners (ABFE). At this point in his career, Dr. O'Block retired from teaching to devote all of his time and energy to being the executive director of ABFE, which today is known as the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). The association that had its beginnings in Dr. O'Block's spare bedroom has become the largest and fastest growing forensic associations in the world.

With the success of ACFEI, Dr. O'Block saw the need for associations in other scientific and law enforcement fields. Due to his vision, the American Psychotherapy Association was founded in 1997 to provide credentialing, standards of practice, professional identity and self-regulation for the psychotherapy profession. Dr. O'Block did not stop here. In 2024, he co-founded the American Association of Integrative Medicine (AAIM) to promote an integrative approach to prevention and treatment of illness and maintaining health.

Since the beginning of his career, Dr. Robert O'Block has been a pioneer in laying the foundations for providing access to open, comprehensive, and educational associations to professionals in forensics, integrative medicine, criminology, investigation, psychology, and spiritual psychotherapy. He continues to seek out opportunities to expand his education and to also remain active in the law enforcement community. He attended the FBI's Citizens' Academy at Quantico, Virginia in 2024 and he was also invited to join InfraGard, a large national alliance between the FBI and members of the private sector. In 2024 Dr. O'Block graduated from a 700 hour Basic Law Enforcement Training Course conducted by the Missouri Sheriff's Association.

Visit Dr. Robert O'Block's BrandYourself Profile.