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Dr. Jack A. Apsche

About the Author
Dr. Jack A. Apsche
Published by ePrintedBooks

Jack A. Apsche (born September 23, 1947) is an American psychologist who has focused his work on adolescents with behavior problems. Apshce is also an author, artist, presenter, consultant and lecturer.

Background and education

Apsche was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1967 through 1968 Apsche served as a Helicopter Door Gunner with the First Cavalry Division Airmobile in the Vietnam War and he was highly decorated for his service. After returning from his service in Vietnam, Apsche attended the University of Pittsburgh where he graduated with honors with a B.A. in Speech, English, Political Science and a minor in Psychology in 1973. He continued his education at Temple University, receiving an M.Ed, with an emphasis on psychological studies in education in 1977 and an Ed.D, in psychoeducational process and counselling psychology in 1986. While at Temple, Apsche edited The Effects of Punishment on Human Behavior. Apsche completed his post-doctoral internship at the Woodhaven Center at Temple University and his post-doctoral fellowship at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia.


Apsche is The Program Director for Forensic Psychology at the School of Psychology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Walden University, Minnesota and the Founder of The Apsche Center for Mode Deactivation Therapy, also located in Virginia. Dr. Apsche is board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, cognitive and behavioral psychology, group psychology, couples and family psychology, and family psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. His primary research is in adolescent externalizing disorders.

Apsche is the developer of Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) an evidence-based psychotherapy technique to treat the complex interplay between trauma, Conduct disorder, and a child's belief system that often lead to conduct problems such as aggression. MDT is a contextual behavior therapy, a type of psychotherapy that combines behavioral science with concepts of acceptance and mindfulness, derived from eastern and western contemplative practices. MDT integrates methodologies from Mindfulness, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Acceptance and commitment therapy, Dialectical behavior therapy, and Functional analytic psychotherapy, which are woven together with some key concepts that are unique to MDT methods. The most notable of these is the Validation, Clarification, and Redirection (VCR) methodology. VCR follows from the assessment and case conceptualization process steps and is aimed at validating the clients' past experiences, clarifying the resultant core beliefs, and redirecting behavioral responses that are caused by associated fear and coping mechanisms.

Teaching experience

Apsche was an adjunct professor for psychological studies and criminal justice at his alma mater, Temple University, from 1990 to 1998 and an associate professor of psychology and counseling at Regent University in 2003. Apsche is a community clinical professor of psychology and behavioral science at Eastern Virginia Medical School and an adjunct professor of psychology at Fielding Graduate University.


Apsche is the principal author of the book titled "Mode Deactivation Therapy for Aggression and Oppositional Behavior in Adolescents: An Integrative Methodology Using ACT, DBT, and CBT". Apsche is the founding editor of the International Journal of Behavior Consultation and Therapy. He was a senior associate editor for the Behavior Analyst Today. Apsche also serves on the editorial board of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal and is a senior associate editor for the Journal of Behavioral Analysis of Offender and Victim Treatment and Prevention.

Apsche has published several other books such as:

  • Probing the Mind of a Serial Killer, Gary Heidnik Series Book 1
  • Breaking the Silence of the Lambs, Gary Heidnik Series Book 2
  • Echo's from Vietnam and beyond
  • Tanning on Dangerous Beaches
  • Responsibility & Self-Management: A Client Workbook of Skills to Learn
  • Responsibility and Self-Management: A Clinician's Manual and Guide for Case Conceptualization
  • The Intimacy Manual: Balancing Control and Intimacy in the Bedroom and the Boardroom

In addition, Apsche has published extensively in scientific journals and has appeared in many newspaper publications.

Awards and honors

Apsche has won several awards for his research and clinical work, including The Jan S. Handleman, Ph.D. Award in 2008, and was nominated for the Distinguished Practitioner Award in 2008 from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and Behavior Analyst Online's 2007 Article of the Year.

The International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy awarded Dr. Apsche a Diplomate in Professional Psychology in 2009, and a Diplomate in Chemical Dependency Counseling in 2010. Apsche is the only Psychologist who is board certified in six specialty areas by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Forensic psychology

Apsche was an expert witness for the defense at the trial of serial killer Gary Heidnik and later profiled Heidnik in his book "Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer". In 2008, Apsche appeared in the Investigation Discovery program Escaped, which described the experience of one of Heidnik's surviving victims, Josefina Rivera. While Heidnik was in prison, Apsche communicated with him, stating afterwards that in the more than 150 handwritten pages of letters he found the roots of a way to treat troubled youth in the killer's mind. This provided the impetus for the development of the Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) methodology-a third wave therapy approach that proved effective to treat youth with complex behavioral problems and psychopathology.

Apsche also provided expert testimony during the trials of serial murderers Harrison "Marty" Graham and Juan Covington.

Info from
Jack wrote the Gary Heidnik Series.
"Probing the Mind of a Serial Killer" &
"Breaking the Silence of the Lambs"
Published by ePrintedBooks

Watch an ABC news report about this serial killer


Book One

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Book 1:
"Probing the Mind of a Serial Killer"
Gary Heidnik Series Book 1

This book needs no reviews because it is a cult classic that inspired "The Silence of the Lambs" and it has sold over three hundred thousand copies in print, and you can buy old print copies on Amazon for $75.00 - $1000.00. This book is used as a study guide for psychologist in colleges worldwide. The purpose of this book is to present a view into the mind of the serial killer, by closely examining one serial killer in particular, Gary M. Heidnik of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The book simultaneously examines the insanity plea within the current American legal system. Although this latter is not truly within the realm of psychology, it is impossible to discuss this subject without examining that issue. Perhaps the most important objective of this book is to present new and emerging criteria for insanity; criteria that are not covered under the diagnostic and statistical Manual III-R of the American Psychiatric Association. This new diagnostic criteria should be simply called SERIAL MURDERER

Book Two

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Book 2:
"Breaking the Silence of the Lambs"
Gary Heidnik Series Book 2

Written by Jack A. Apsche, Ed.D., ABPP and Jerry L. Jennings, Ph.D. "Breaking the Silence of the Lambs" is a unique and fascinating story within a story. It is, first, a dark journey into the secret world of the infamous "Silence of the Lambs" serial killer, Gary M. Heidnik. It presents 26 secret letters from Death Row that reveal the truth of how Heidnik made a fortune in the stock market and conducted church services in his living room, while a harem of starving sexual slaves were chained in the cellar beneath their feet. It is also the story of Jack Apsche, Gary Heidnik's psychologist and the recipient of these personal letters, who is prepared to "break the silence of the lambs" by revealing Heidnik's secret letters and his own simultaneous struggle with the dark side.

A note from the Publisher: "Although this book provides answers to the mystery of Heidnik and serial killers, my favorite part was seeing how his psychologist had to struggle with his own dark side to reach those answers."

When the case begins, Jack is still deeply haunted by the horrors of Vietnam, mired in a self-destructive life of drug abuse, criminal violence and sex orgies. Letter by letter, the book takes the reader through the inside experience of being Heidnik"s psychologist and the emotional toll of dealing with the infamous killer's cunning and the uncensored revelations of his perverse crimes. At the same time, in a personal narrative that is harrowing in its honesty, Jack reveals the truth of his simultaneous struggle with his own dark side, of death and killing in Vietnam, depression and self-destruction, reckless gangsterism, and cocaine-charged orgies.

During the course of his unblinking investigation of Heidnik's ultimate human evil, Jack becomes transformed by the emerging power of love - for his daughter, his new wife and stepfamily, and finally, himself - and it yields the path to healing and hope. By the end of the story, Jack has used his insights from the Heidnik case to create an innovative new treatment for helping violent and disturbed adolescents and has redeemed himself as a husband, father and citizen.

Book Three

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Book 3:
"Echo's from Vietnam and beyond"

I wrote these and other poems during a span of many years. They are all based on real experiences for better or worse I do not write about others experience or out of wondering what something would be like in my head. So, I hope someone get's my writing, yet on the other hand they were written for me and me alone initially. Often I was trying to exercise daemons, hurt and to express humor and joy or my life's experiences.

Book Four

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Book 4:
"Tanning on Dangerous Beaches"

In what will be his final book of poetry, renowned psychologist and poet Jack Apsche writes, "Cancer has changed me." In this remarkable collection, we experience the many ways that incurable cancer has, indeed, changed this gifted poet-even changing the deep scars of survival in Vietnam. Facing the end of life, Jack's poems shout out with urgency and pure honesty, yielding a bouquet of clarity, wisdom and humor that both touches and enlightens. If truth uttered before its time is dangerous, Tanning on Dangerous Beaches is downright treacherous, and quite simply, beautiful.

Steve Caresser
Dr. Jerry Jennings
and Dr. Jack Apsche
about their new Book
"Breaking the Silence of the Lambs"

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