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LaMaurice Gardner, PhD (1936 – 2001)

LaMaurice Holbrook Gardner, PhD was born in Moorhead, Mississippi in 1936. His family moved to Detroit in 1941, where Gardner attended Cathedral Central High School and the University of Detroit. Gardner earned a Bachelor of Philosophy in 1958 and Master of Arts in Psychology in 1960 from the University of Detroit, while also working at the Detroit Department of Welfare. He then obtained his Doctorate in psychology from Loyola University in Chicago in 1964.  His doctoral training experiences included serving as a research and teaching assistant and working at the Municipal Psychiatric Institute of the Chicago courts, the Hines Veterans Hospital (Hines, IL), and the VA Mental Hygiene Clinic (Chicago, IL). Gardner was also president of Loyola’s Psi Chi chapter from 1962-1963.

After graduating, Dr. Gardner returned to Detroit with his growing family, where he began his career as an adjunct professor of psychology at Wayne State University and the University of Detroit in 1964. He had a robust career including positions at the Detroit Osteopathic Hospital, the Detroit Psychiatric Institute, and he served as the Chief Psychologist and Administrative Assistant in the Department of Psychiatry of the former Sinai Hospital in Northwest Detroit. In 1968, he became the first African American Director of the Children’s Center of Wayne County in Detroit, where he was President & CEO until 1974. During his time as president, Dr. Gardner published works on how psychotherapists can unlearn racial biases to improve the therapist-client alliance to improve treatment outcomes.

Dr. Gardner later opened a private practice in Southfield, MI and continued university teaching. Dr. Gardner was a founding member of the Arnette Burwell Scholarship Fund in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University. He retired from teaching at WSU in 1997.

Dr. Gardner was an accomplished psychologist, consultant, researcher, and professor. In addition to his many scholarly pursuits, he also served as Vice Chairman of the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Service Board, the Board of Directors of the Wayne County Chapter of the Michigan Society for Mental Health, the Michigan Psychology Licensing Board, Board of Directors of the Midwestern US Region of the American Board of Professional Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the Michigan Psychological Association, the Michigan Interprofessional Association on Marriage, Divorce and Family.


Dr. Gardner was involved in many Black social clubs in the Detroit Metro region, including “The Association” which was a social club for Black male community leaders and professionals. He was also a founding member of the Married Couples Club, which included Black professional couples who with shared family values, a board member of the Detroit Urban League, and a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Some of Dr. Gardner’s pivotal writings include:

Gardner, L. H. (1964). The Screening Value of Rorschach Scales Designed to Assess Ego-Structure and Ego-Functioning. (Dissertation) Loyola University Chicago

Rosenzweig, N., & Gardner, L. (1966). The role of input relevance in sensory isolation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 122(8), 920-928.

Gardner, L. H. (1971). The therapeutic relationship under varying conditions of race. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 8(1), 78–87.

Pugh, R. W. (1972). Psychology and the Black Experience. With contributions by Thomas J. Edwards, LaMaurice H. Gardner and Norman G. Kerr. United States: Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Gardner, L. H. (1975). Clinical psychology and the urban scene: Retrospect and prospect. The Clinical Psychologist, 28(3), 12–14.

Gardner, L. H. (1980). Racial, ethnic, and social class considerations in psychotherapy supervision. Psychotherapy supervision: Theory, research and practice, 474-508.


Davis, S. (1989, April 19). Married with Friends: Shared values help a rare club endure. Detroit Free Press, pp 1B, 3B

Detroit Free Press. (1973, February 23). Officers elected by Urban League. Detroit Free Press, pp. 4A

Ebony Magazine (June 1960). Leap Year’s Eligible Men. Ebony Magazine, 15(8), p 63.

Friedman, P. (1973, January 13). Killings: Blacks vs. Police? St. Petersburg Times, 4A. 

Friedman, P. (1973, January 16). The mood of confrontation between blacks and police.  The Charlotte Observer, 13A. 

Gardner, L. H. (1964). The Screening Value of Rorschach Scales Designed to Assess Ego-Structure and Ego-Functioning. Dissertations. 765.

Hart, W. (1979, March 12). The Association: Subtly leading city. Detroit Free Press, pp 3A, 17A.

Jet Magazine. (1968, December 12). People. XXXV(10), 43.

Lewis, T. (March 24, 2019). From the Roaring '20s Into the New Century: The History and Times of The Children's Center. How Michigan's First Child Guidance Clinic Became the State's Most Diversified Frontline Provider of Services to Most-In-Need Children 1929-2006. The Children’s Center. Accessed January 23, 2021 from

O’Brien, C. (1967, October 20). Bias can be unlearned, experts say. Detroit Free Press, pp. 1C, 4C

Ross, J. (2001, December 25). LaMaurice Gardener: Top psychologist, professor. Detroit Free Press, pp. 10B

The Children’s Center. (2016). Our timeline.

The Pittsburgh Courier. (1968, October 19). Dr. Gardner gets post in Detroit. The Pittsburgh Courier, pp. 12

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