Nicholas Heck, Ph.D.
(414) 288-6187

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Dr. Nicholas Heck grew up on a small farm near Bloomington, Indiana. He completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University, where he became interested in the study of substance use disorders among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. Dr. Heck went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at The University of Montana. With a grant from The National GLTBQ Youth Foundation to support his research, Dr. Heck completed his dissertation, which focused on identifying factors that promote favorable health outcomes among LGBT high school students. He completed his predoctoral internship at the Charleston Consortium Clinical Psychology Training Program, where he acquired additional clinical training working with child/adolescent populations and conducted research related to the dissemination of empirically-supported treatments for the treatment of PTSD among children and adolescents.

Prior to joining the faculty at Marquette University, Dr. Heck completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Heck continued to conduct research with LGBT populations, while also expanding his interests to include the development of interventions targeting youth living with HIV. As a clinician, Dr. Heck engages in a collaborative process of evidence-based practice in order to select treatment approaches with empirical support that are likely to align with the values and beliefs of his clients. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders among children, adolescents, and young adults.

Dr. Heck plans to review applications for the upcoming admissions cycle of Marquette University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology.


2013-2014   Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University

2013            Ph.D. in Psychology, The University of Montana

2012-2013    Predoctoral Internship, Charleston Consortium

2009            M.A. in Psychology, The University of Montana

2006            B.A. in Psychology, Indiana University

Teaching Interests

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Heck regularly teaches Introductory (General) Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. Within the department’s clinical psychology Ph.D. program, Dr. Heck provides instruction in Clinical Interviewing and supervises trainees working at the Center for Psychological Services.

Research Interests

The primary focus of Dr. Heck’s research involves the study of health outcomes, broadly defined, among LGBT individuals. Working within a Minority Stress (Meyer, 2003) framework, Dr. Heck has often studied the school experiences of LGBT students as they relate to academic, mental health, and substance use outcomes. Dr. Heck plans to expand this line of research by studying how interventions with empirical support can be adapted and tailored to address the unique stressors and needs of LGBT individuals more broadly. Future research from Dr. Heck’s lab at Marquette will emphasize interpersonal relationships in order to better understand how minority stress impacts LGBT people and their friends/family.

Please visit our lab’s website for more information about current and future research opportunities.

Selected Publications

Heck, N. C. (In press). Group psychotherapy with transgender and gender nonconforming adults: Evidence-based practice applications. Psychiatric Clinics of North America.

Heck, N. C., Poteat, V.P., & Goodenow, C. (In press). Advances in research with LGBTQ youth in schools. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Poteat, V.P., Heck, N. C., Yoshikawa, H., & Calzo, J. (In press). Advancing greater engagement among members of gay-straight alliances: Individual and structural contributors. American Educational Research Journal.

Heck, N. C., Mirabito, L., LeMaire, K., Livingston, N., & Flentje, A. (In press). Omitted data in randomized controlled trials for anxiety and depression: A systematic review of the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Heck, N. C. (2015). The potential to promote resilience: Piloting a school-based mental health promotion program for LGBTQ youth. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 225–231. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000110

Heck, N. C., Croot, L., & Robohm, J. S. (2015). Piloting a psychotherapy group for transgender individuals: Description and clinical considerations for practitioners. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46, 30–36. doi: 10.1037/a0033134

Heck, N. C., Saunders, B., & Smith, D. W. (2015). Web-based training for an evidence-supported treatment: Training completion and knowledge acquisition in a global sample of learners. Child Maltreatment, 20, 183–192. doi: 10.1177/1077559515586569

Flentje, A., Heck, N. C., & Sorensen, J. L. (2015). Substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients entering substance abuse treatment: Comparisons to heterosexual clients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 325–334. doi: 10.1037/a0038724

Livingston, N., Heck, N. C., Flentje, A., Oost, K., Gleason, H., & Cochran, B. N. (2015). Personality typology and suicidality: Dispositional resilience as a moderator of victimization and suicide risk for lesbian, gay and bisexual Persons. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 321–328. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000116 

Flentje, A., Heck, N. C., & Sorensen, J. L. (2014). Characteristics of transgender individuals entering substance abuse treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 969–975. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.01.011

Heck, N. C., Livingston, N., Flentje, A., Oost, K., Stewart, B. & Cochran, B. N. (2014). Reducing risk for illicit drug use and prescription drug misuse: High school gay-straight alliances and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 824–828. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.01.007

Heck, N. C., Lindquist, L., Stewart, B., Brennan, C., & Cochran, B. N. (2013). To join or not to join: Gay-straight alliances and the high school experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 25, 1–25. doi: 10.1080/10538720.2012.751764

Heck, N. C., Flentje, A., & Cochran, B. N. (2013). Intake interviewing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients: Starting from a place of affirmation. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 43, 23–32. doi: 10.1007/s10879-012-9220-x

Heck, N. C., Flentje, A., & Cochran, B. N. (2011). Offsetting risks: High school gay-straight alliances and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. School Psychology Quarterly, 26, 161–174. doi: 10.1037/a0023226



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If you have questions about clinical services, please call the Center for Psychological Services at (414) 288-3487.

Location: Cramer Hall, 317
Milwaukee, WI 53233

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