The doctor is in, America. Dr. Jeff Gardere, that is. Known for his regular appearances on CNN,MSNBC, FOX Business, “The Today Show” and Tru TV, when it comes to clinical psychology and analyzing America, media outlets turn to him for help.
Daytime TV fans might recognize him for making his way around the talk show circuit as the “in-house doctor” on “The Sally Jessie Raphael Show,” “The Ricki Lake Show” and currently “The Maury Show.” But while he’s gained international fame for his opinion answering the question of why we do things, he keeps it local when lending help for his community.
Gardere currently has his private practice in Washington Heights, primarily helping people with relationship and family issues in the Black and Latino community. He’s credited for having the largest minority psychological practice in the city.
Hailing from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with a Haitian background, Gardere grew up in an integrated neighborhood but faced challenges. He recalls attending elementary school at the all-white St. Francis Xavier School and becoming the school’s first Black student. His experience ignited his interest in psychology.
“I saw so many issues of racism while I was growing up,” he said. “I always saw it as a mental defect and disease. My experience began a lifelong obsession of studying the mind.”
Gardere graduated from Brooklyn Tech High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rochester. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in psychology from George Washington University. Gardere is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and is a Mason.
His career began with working in the prison system as a clinical psychologist and he was the first Black chief psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
But his move to television came in the late 1980s when psychologist Dr. Craig Polite asked him to fill in for a television show. The appearance launched continuous calls for his expert opinion on hot topics. Today, Gardere does up to three or more TV shows a day.
In 2006, Gardere went back to school to obtain a master’s in real estate development at Columbia and is currently a real estate broker and developer. As the economic crisis takes hold of the nation, Gardere has also been called upon to get into the psychological effects the crisis is having.
When it comes to his opinion about the effect on Blacks with Barack Obama in office, he said that while there are still problems, the Black community and the world has a new mindset.
He said, “Obama has forever changed the psychology of the world. Seeing Barack Obama and his family will forever change Black relationships. This event will take us to the next level of healing.”
In addition to being on television, Gardere is also an accomplished writer, authoring three books. His first book was “Smart Parenting for African-Americans: Helping Your Kids
Thrive in a Difficult World.” Gardere is also a monthly columnist for Sister 2 Sister magazine.
As for the future, Gardere has his sights set on writing another book and possibly making the move to get his own TV show.
Gardere has been married for 18 years to his wife, Deyanira. Together, they have four children, ages 16, 15, 7 and 5.
“I’ve been blessed by God to help make a difference in the world,” he said. “I couldn’t think of anything else better to do.”