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Inspiring Conversations with Dr. Erlanger “Earl” Turner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Erlanger “Earl” Turner.

Hi Dr. Earl, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As a native of Baton Rouge Louisiana, I started my academic career in psychology at Louisiana State University. I later attended Texas A&M University in College Station where I obtained my PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on clinical child psychology. After completing my post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, I became licensed as a psychologist in Maryland and Virginia.

Prior to locating to Los Angeles in 2019, I’ve worked in urban cities providing therapy to children, adolescents, and couples for a variety of concerns. Additionally, I have worked for about ten years as assistant professor of psychology at universities in Virginia and Houston, TX. Currently, I’m a tenure-track assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University where I teach classes primarily on multicultural psychology and scientific writing to masters and doctoral students.

In addition to teaching, I also have a independent psychology consulting practice. Since 2015, I have served as the Founder and CEO at Turner Psychological and Consulting Services. More recently, I founded Therapy for Black Kids which is currently seeking non-profit status to provide educational content and resources to parents to promote resilience and healthy emotional development.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve always been an overachiever since being a kid. I did fairly well in school and graduated high school with honors. During college, things were pretty uneventful in terms of no major academic difficulties. Similar to most people, I changed my original major for microbiology/pre-med to psychology during my sophomore year. Otherwise, I did well academically and was elected President of the LSU Chapter of Psi Chi ( – psychology honor society.

Despite the academic success, I hit a hurdle while in graduate school. After finishing my coursework and applying for my required psychology internship to graduate with my PhD, I learned on ‘Match Day’ that I was not matched at any of the sites where I had interviewed. It’s one of those things that we often don’t discuss when it comes to getting a doctorate in clinical psychology. Its often seen as a taboo subject to discuss “not matching”. I was faced with a touch decision to enroll in another year of graduate school or attempt to find an internship position that was APA accredited (which is required to graduate and obtain a license as a psychologist). Fortunately, I was able to apply for and get an offer at an internship in Tallahassee, Florida. My experience resulted in excellent training and I was able to graduate with my PhD within my five years’ timeline.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Turner Psychological & Consulting Services?
I’m the founder and CEO of Turner Psychological and Consulting Services where we focus on all things to promote mental health awareness and psychological wellness. Early in 2021, I launched Therapy for Black Kids ( which is focused on providing educational seminars and events for kids, parents, and organizations to promote resilience and healthy emotional development among Black youth.

As a clinical psychologist by training, Turner Psychological & Consulting Services was started in 2015 with the mission to reduce stigma around mental health treatment among diverse communities and to help therapists increase their cultural sensitivity. Over the years, we have engaged in providing continuing education training to psychology departments, hospitals, and private organizations to increase awareness and skills to improve treatment for diverse populations, especially African Americans.

In 2019, I released his first book Mental health among African Americans: Innovations in research and practice ( The book is geared towards therapists and psychologists to help them better understand the impact of racism on mental health, ethical considerations when working with Black clients, and skills in cultural awareness.

As a media expert and psychologist, I have been involved in serving as an expert and consultant on stories related to mental health, children and therapy, societal racism, pop culture, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic. This work has been featured in sources such as NBC News, ABC, Oprah magazine, Women’s Health, Bustle, NPR, Essence, Ebony, HuffPost and others.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Technology has provided so much flexibility in connecting with others in your field for networking and mentorship. My general advice is to utilize social media and email to foster relationships with people that you admire or that you would be interested in learning from. Consider reaching out to see if the individual is willing to meet for 20-30 minutes to chat about their work or about your related interests.

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Credit Erlanger Turner

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