Dr. Claude Steiner was born in 1935 in Paris, France, the first born of Austrian parents. Fleeing from Hitler's impending invasion of France, his Jewish mother and Christian father escaped to Spain in 1939 with him and his sister Katherine in tow. At the end of World War II, Claude and his parents and siblings emigrated to Mexico. 

In 1952, Steiner came to the United States to study engineering and then physics at Santa Monica City College in California. He went on to study physics at the University of California in Berkeley but decided that he didn't want to spend his life making bombs and transferred to the study of psychology and child development. He also began to work as a summer camp counselor and eventually became director at the Berkeley Jewish Community Center Summer Camp.

In 1957, Steiner met and became a disciple of Dr. Eric Berne. 

In 1965, after the publication of Games People Play by Berne, Steiner obtained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

In the late 1960's and after Berne's death in 1970, Steiner got more and more involved as an activist in various liberation movements and against the war in Vietnam. Steiner went on to develop the theory and practice of Radical Psychiatry, about which he wrote extensively in books and journals, including The Radical Therapist a quarterly journal published by the Radical Psychiatry collective. In addition to this work, Steiner conducted a full time group and individual therapy practice in Berkeley, California. In 1975, Steiner started to develop and teach emotional literacy concepts. He refined the program of emotional literacy training in his book Achieving Emotional Literacy. Steiner coined the phrases "warm fuzzies" and "emotional literacy," and developed the theory of the "Stroke Economy." 

Steiner still practices clinically and is heavily involved in the ITAA. For more information on his work, you may visit his website.