Grady Osten-Garner, Ph.D. Chicago Campus

"We have a unique opportunity and special responsibility   
to explore innovative ways to promote the amelioration  
of mental health outcomes by empowering  
individuals and communities."  
– Grady Osten-Garner, Ph.D.

"We have a unique opportunity and special responsibility
to explore innovative ways to promote the amelioration
of mental health outcomes by empowering
individuals and communities."

– Grady Osten-Garner, Ph.D.

Grady L. Osten-Garner Jr., Ph.D.
Retired Army Reserve Captain
Core Faculty, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program
Coordinator, Military Clinical Psychology Track

Pre-dating Christianity and western psychology, African scholars have defined what we call psychology as 'the study of the soul,' human consciousness, and what we now call existentialism. It was all about how one located one's self in and how one engages the world, especially as it relates to our meaningful and mutual connections to the human family.

It wasn't until 1879 when experimental physicist and psychologist, William Wundt, introduced psychology as a discipline that we began to focus specifically on measurable observations of the human mind. While this is important, there is tremendous power in appreciating ones' ancestry, lineage, familial, and sociocultural histories, engendered by a sense of purposeful connectivity and social responsibility.

My orientation toward facilitating a heightened awareness and application of social responsibility and social justice through professional practice is deeply rooted in the stirrings of the soul, of one's conscious awareness of our social connections, our reciprocal responsibilities, and promotion of social interest. Giving is good for the soul! This philosophy or way of being impacts every aspect of my professional work: from my approach to educating and mentoring, to clinical work, to the types of community based participatory research and scholarship choices I've made, and finally to my leadership style including the many roles I have held in the academy, as a military officer and commander, and now as an actively engaged military retiree focused on veteran health.

I believe that, as a faculty body and trainers of future psychologists, we have a unique opportunity, special responsibility, and privilege to explore innovative ways to promote professional efforts to ameliorate mental health outcomes by empowering individuals and communities through our clinical work and research as local scientists. My clinical and research interests center on the well-being of others, including all uniformed and non-uniformed military service members and their families as well as underserved non-military communities. As the Founder and Director of the Consortium for Military Psychology Research, Advocacy, and Service (CMPRAS), my research labs are populated by stellar research-scientist trainees who focus on favorable mental health outcomes as it relates to: meaning making, moral injury, reintegration, unit cohesion, and transgender marginalization in the military.

Please email or call me 312.662.4345 if you have questions or would like more information about me.


  • Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • M.A., Community Counseling, Loyola University Chicago
  • B.A., General Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • Division 19: Military Psychology
    • Division 18: Psychologists in Public Service

Select Publications

  • Garner, G., Bocanegra, E., Helder, M. & Adler Student Researchers (manuscript in progress). Urban Warriors: A One of a Kind Curriculum-based Mentoring Intervention, Pairing Military Veterans with Violence Impacted Urban Youth.
  • Garner, G & Emano, D. (2013). Counseling LGBT Students, K-12. In E. S. Fisher and K. K. Hawkins (Eds.). Creating School Environments to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families: A Handbook for School Professionals.
  • Lyons, T., Madkins, K, Karia, P. & Garner, G. (2013). Intimate Strangers? Social Networks in HIV Prevention Groups for Drug Users. Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 8(2), 129-148.

Select Presentations

  • Keynote Panel Presentation: North American Society of Adlerian Psychology (NASAP) 2014 Annual Conference. Panel Theme: Adlerian Theory & Practice as Positive Psychology: Applications to Military, Schools and Families,. Chicago, IL, May 2014.
  • Keynote Speaker, CDC-funded live webcast with attending service providers and consumers, 2011
  • Keynote Speaker, AIDS Foundation of Chicago
  • APA Convention, Bisexuality Symposium, Managing Heterosexism and Biphobia: A Black Bisexual Male’s Perspective. Chair & Discussant: Ronald Fox, PhD, DC 2011.


  • Co-chair, American Psychological Association (APA), Division 44’s Committee on Bisexual Issues
  • Co-chair & Discussant, APA Division 44 Research Symposia 
  • Co-chair, APA, Division 19 (Society for Military Psychology) Research Series Symposia