Francis Kaklauskas, PsyD

Core Associate Professor
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Buddhism-Informed Contemplative Counseling Concentration
PsyD, Colorado School of Professional Psychology - 2008 Clinical Psychology - Specialty in Organizational Consulting; MA, Naropa University—Contemplative Psychotherapy, 1992; BA, Rowen University—Literature / Creative Writing, 1987
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Buddhism-Informed Contemplative Counseling Concentration
Currently: CNSC751, Group Counseling: Theory and Practice; CNSC790, Counseling Practicum; CNSC801, Counseling Skills/Theories II; CNSC700, Assessment; CNSC871, Internship I: Placement & Contemplative Supervision; CNSC891, Internship II: Placement & Contemplative Supervision; Supervisor of the Group Process Leaders (Small and Large Groups); Previously has taught almost everything in the curriculum.

Prior to entering the field, Dr. Francis Kaklauskas busted it in a variety of interesting jobs from being childhood carny in his parents’ hustles on the Jersey Shore, through selling shoes, moving pianos, delivering pizzas, bell hopping, performing as a C-list Jazz bassist, and a driving for United Parcel Service in Philadelphia. Since entering the field, the spirit of trying everything and loving variety continued, and he has worked almost every position in mental health field from overnight staff in psychiatric residencies and emergency rooms to leading several graduate training programs in areas including Existentialism / Humanism (Saybrook University), Comparative Psychodynamic and Multicultural Approaches (University of Colorado), and Buddhist and Mindfulness psychology (Naropa University). He has served in leadership on many professional organizations. as well as co-founding other organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association and University Professor Press that focus on creating humane, just, and inclusive mental health treatment and advocacy.

His clinical roles and experiences include community mental health as adult and child therapist: forensic assessment and treatment psychologist, leading an intensive pilot HUD funded program for the underserved; clinical director of a dual diagnosis residential recovery program, and currently private practice. His professional focus has been in group psychotherapy, and he has conducted 5 to 8 psychotherapy groups a week for the past 30 years across. He enjoys academic collaborations and has published extensively including 9 co-edited books, over 50 co-authored chapters and articles on topics that include cross-cultural psychology and the pragmatic application of contemporary theory and research. Currently, he serves as president of The Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association.

In his free time, he prioritizes connecting with his friends, family, and his various communities. He enjoys continuing to perform as a C-list R&B bassist, working as a Chess 2nd for his teenager, trying to understand world philosophies, hiking his two big poodle mixes, pretending to be a chef, and fixing anything that breaks. He continues to hope that eventually his mediation practice will not only provide benefits to his clinical work and relationships, but may feel easier and even enjoyable at moments.


Selected Peer Reviewed Books

Selected Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

  • Towards multicultural and diversity proficiency Kaklauskas F. J. & Nettles R. (2019). – Core principles of group psychotherapy.
  • Kisagotmi, Buddha, and Mustards Seeds: An existential psychological perspective. Kaklauskas, F. J., & E. A. Olson. (2019). Existential Psychology East-West.
  • Mindfulness Approaches to Groups Chang, C. R., Ciliberti, A. A., & Kaklauskas, F. J. (2017). Mindfulness The college counselor’s guide to group psychotherapy.
  • Beyond Buddhism: What We Need to Lose to Save What We Love. willimas, a. K. transcribed and edited with Kaklauskas, F. J (2016).
  • Shadows & Light: Theory, research, and practice in transpersonal psychology (Vol. 2: Talks & Reflections).

Selected Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Microaggression and Group Psychotherapy. Kaklauskas, F. J. (2021) The Group Circle.
  • Expanding empathy in our clinical work. Kaklauskas, F. J. & Clements C. (2015) American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Group Psychotherapy. Barlow, S., Burlingame, G., Greene, L., Joyce, A., Kaklauskas, F.,
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association Science to Practice Task Force.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.