Dr. Michael Laurent (Courtesy photo)

Many members of the Southern California region have expressed sadness, yet love and appreciation, when learning that Dr. Michael Laurent is retiring and moving from sunny Los Angeles to the more variable climate of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dr. Laurent has been both a licensed marital family therapist and a licensed psychologist in the L.A. area for over 30 years.  Within those 30 years, he has served as a tenured professor at CSU-Northridge and CSU-Dominguez Hills.

At CSUDH in Carson, California, he founded one of the first Black Men’s Support Group designed as a psychotherapy group for Black men in college. He went on to provide clinical psychotherapy in Southern California to many individuals and couples.  But, his specialty area was always working with African American men.

He has been called by many national and local organizations to speak about working with Black men and he often appeared on TV and radio in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder.  Dr. Laurent is proud of his record as a professor.

He has taught Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality for many years and has tried to continue much of the mentoring he received from Joseph White (considered the “Father of Black Psychology”), Leo Buscaglia (the Love Doctor of the 1970s and 1980s) and Dr. Walter Brackelmanns (TV psychoanalytic family/couples therapist in the 1980s).

Dr. Laurent’s experience with CSUDH culminated in his service as chair of the Marital Family Therapy Department for the past seven years.  His presentation to Yale University on “Psychoanalytic Family Therapy to African American Couples” has still been seen as one of their most interesting presentations.  His Black Men’s Group continues to this day with many of the original members now providing such counseling to young Black males.

Politically, over the years, Dr. Laurent has joined forces with other advocates of Black Lives Matter, Driving While Black protests, and the American Civil Liberties Union at both local and national levels.  He leaves behind many friends and loved ones to join other friends and loved ones in the “Big Easy.”

But, when he goes, he knows there will be a whole lot of good left behind.  In his retirement he is scheduled to finish two long-awaited books, continue community activism in New Orleans, start a new podcast, and do a lot of dancing at festivals and funerals.

As he leaves, he wishes everyone in SoCal much love and many blessings.