Michael Reichert is an applied and research psychologist who has long been an advocate for children and families. From counseling youth involved in the juvenile justice system through experiences leading treatment teams in a psychiatric hospital, all the while managing an independent clinical practice, Dr. Reichert has tested his understanding of children with practical, even life-saving, challenges.
He has also immersed himself in research and consultation experiences that have afforded a deeper understanding of the conditions that allow a child to flourish in natural contexts: families, schools and communities. He has created and run programs in both inner city communities and in some of the most affluent suburban communities in the world. Working closely with children across such varied conditions, he has come to a profound appreciation for the hard science of human development.
For ten years he helped to create and led an intervention for high-risk youth in the tri-state region around Philadelphia. The program raised over $4 million in grants and was named a “promising practice” for reducing youth violence by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
As an extension of his work with schools, boys and their parents, he was asked to pull together top national experts by a highly regarded boys’ school outside of Philadelphia and to create a unique program combining research, advocacy and service. The program was the first school-based research center devoted to understanding the particular needs of boys, which eventually grew into a research collaborative between more than 15 independent schools and the University of Pennsylvania.
He continues to lead The Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, which has honed a model for student empowerment, Youth Participatory Action Research, training high school students in rigorous research methods so they can explore pressing questions about relationships and identity. Each year, these student researchers come together at Penn with over 125 others to present their projects and consider action step recommendations.
His work with the Center led to a request by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, an organization of over 300 state and elite schools around the world, to conduct a series of global studies on effective practices in boys’ education. In conducting these projects and for subsequent presentations based on the studies’ findings, he has traveled and spoken to audiences of boys, educators, and parents throughout Africa, the U.K., Canada, and in many states in the U.S. He has led workshops and consulted to hundreds of schools of all types.
Since 1984, Dr. Reichert has maintained a clinical practice outside Philadelphia, PA., specializing in work with boys, men and their families. In addition to direct patient care, he has served as the supervising psychologist at an independent boys’ school and has had the opportunity there to create and lead a program designed to enhance boys’ emotional literacy.
This body of experience has led him to publish numerous articles and several books, including Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Lessons About What Works—and Why and I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners. He currently writes a column for Psychology Today, The Power of Connection, and has a forthcoming book for parents, How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men.