EAST HILLS, NY, January 09, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Leonard T. Gries, PhD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Gries celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Dr. Gries received a Bachelor of Science degree at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1967, followed by Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in psychology at Hofstra University in 1969 and 1972, respectively. Following an internship at the Hofstra Psychological Evaluation and Research Center, he was among the first dozen students ever to receive a doctoral degree in psychology at Hofstra University, under the invaluable mentoring and encouragement of program head and dissertation chairperson, Dr. Julia Vane. Dr. Gries is a diplomate in forensic clinical psychology through the American Board of Psychological Specialties, under the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. He has been a licensed psychologist in the state of New York since 1974. He is also a celebrated Marquis listee, who has been included in the first edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare for his contributions.
Having accrued over 50 years of experience in the field of psychology, Dr. Gries has garnered a laudable reputation providing effective mental health services for over 1,000 adults, children, and families. Having conducted child custody evaluations, and child trauma/sexual abuse assessments for the State of New York appellate division in the Supreme Court's first and second judicial departments since 1996, he is also the founder and executive director of the Institute for Emotional Health in East Hills, New York, and Briarwood, New York, providing in-home treatment since 1990 for children in foster care who were the victims of child abuse and/or abandonment. Additionally, he has maintained his own private family practice in East Hills since 1974. During the 1970's, Dr. Gries notably founded and directed the psychology department at Brooklyn Developmental Services, and also founded and directed the clinical services department of the community-based group home program for clients with developmental disabilities at the Federation of Puerto Rican Organizations. Beginning in 1979, he founded and directed the department of mental health services at SCO Family of Services, a prominent New York based foster care agency, serving there for 35 years, thanks to the encouragement and support of Executive Director, Mr. Bob McMahon.
Renowned for his inimitable expertise, Dr. Gries, in his capacity as clinical supervisor and department head, has been responsible for the launching of the successful careers of hundreds of practitioners in psychology, social work and counseling. This included the training and mentoring of dozens of clinical interns and externs from graduate programs throughout the NYC metropolitan area. For several years, he excelled as an adjunct associate professor teaching developmental psychopathology in the graduate program in school psychology at Queens College, City University of New York. Earlier in his career he served as an adjunct associate professor at Brooklyn College. Even earlier, while pursuing his doctoral degree, he was a 5th grade teacher at P.S. 108 in East New York, Brooklyn for four years, and Recreation Director for the N.Y.C. Department of Parks at Bensonhurst Park for one year.
Among other roles, Dr. Gries has served as consultant for numerous organizations. He has been aligned with the Administration for Children's Services of New York, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, the Brooklyn School for Special Children, Catholic Guardian Society, Children's Aid Society, Forestdale, Inc., the Fresh Air Fund of New York, Graham-Windham, Green Chimneys Children's Services, Hope For Youth, Lakeside Family and Children's Services, the Legal Aid Society, Little Flower Children and Family Services, MercyFirst, Pius XII Foster Care Program, Queensboro Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, The REACH Institute, Task Force on Permanency Planning for Foster Children, Inc., and Wide Horizons for Children.
In addition to his extensive clinical work, administrative and supervisory work, and work in academia, Dr. Gries has made notable contributions in promoting, facilitating and leading research efforts in the mental health field. During his career, he developed specialized assessment instruments and protocols, including the Gries Assessment of Psychological Permanence, the Family Interaction Interview, and the Developmental-Behavioral Progress Matrix. For 17 years, he served as chairman of the agency review board for research at SCO Family of Services. He also served as faculty research advisor in psychology at Walden University, as well as dissertation advisor at Hofstra University. He is the author or co¬author of 13 articles in professional, peer-reviewed journals, most recently writing in 2019 with his son, James, about family treatment for moderate child alienation in the Journal of Health Service Psychology. He authored many other articles published in various professional handbooks, newspapers, and online websites, presented for the Practising Law Institute multiple times, and delivered 45 professional papers at local, national, and international forums in Canada, China and Gibraltar. The author of the 1993 book, "Gregory of Zimbabwe: A True Story of Overcoming Child Abuse and the Scandal of Diplomatic Immunity," Dr. Gries documented a case history of a young boy, a victim of child abuse, who he was able to help, and whose life he eventually saved. His efforts in this case, which placed him in the middle of a colossal struggle on the world stage, with the involvement of the President of the U.S., the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the President of Zimbabwe, was one of his greatest achievements. Dr. Gries has also been involved in local publications, notably contributing as a columnist on youth sports for The Roslyn News between 1986 and 1989, while serving on the Board of Directors of the Roslyn Little League. More recently, he contributed articles in 2018 for the Great Neck News, and the Roslyn Times on responding to political bullying, and on the forgotten voices of children at our border.
A member and former chairman of an inter-disciplinary group of NYC area professionals, the Clinicians in Child Welfare, Dr. Gries has also been a member of several other industry-related organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the American College of Forensic Examiners. As a student, he was bestowed with the Charles Palmer Davis Award for Excellence in the Study of Current Events, as well as several sports recognitions, including the "S Club" Award for Senior Athlete of the Year at Stuyvesant High School and the Varsity Award at Brooklyn College, in both instances chosen to serve as Captain of the respective varsity baseball teams. As an exceptional teen athlete, he was bestowed with the Victoria Award by the renowned Parade Grounds League of Brooklyn, N.Y. for leading his entire league in batting average in 1960. A year earlier, Dr. Gries, along with his brother, Phil and close friend, Steve Cohen, founded the Bedford Athletic Club, providing a magnet for scores of softball enthusiasts, eventually including his sons and nephew, Ethan, to compete and to share lasting friendships over the ensuing 50 years.
The narrative of Dr. Gries' extraordinary career is incomplete without due recognition of the exceptional foundation he received during his childhood and the ongoing support he received throughout his life. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. just prior to the end of World War II, and only 3 days prior to the emergence of the atomic age, he did not learn until age 10 that he actually had been born on a Friday the thirteenth. This supposedly unlucky omen proved to be quite the opposite, as his life was already blessed with the great fortune of having the most unbelievable, loving parents that anyone could ever hope for. Nathan and Lillian Klein Gries were approaching middle age when they married and became the parents of Dr. Gries, and his older brother, Phil Gries. Phil became a cinematographer, and has been wed to his sweet wife, Jane for over 50 years. That Nathan and Lillian were 100% dedicated to the nurturance, guidance, and enrichment of their sons is an understatement. They convincingly conveyed the message that their sons were always safe, and secure, while assuring that any personal or professional objective they might have was within reach, and attainable. Phil was protective and encouraging to his younger brother, and he notably introduced him to the sport of baseball at a unique time in sports history, and in American history. The Gries family had moved into their home on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn only two weeks prior to the integration of professional baseball in 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. If one were to drive about 4 miles straight down Bedford Ave. from the Gries home, he would find himself immediately behind the right field wall at historic Ebbets Field. By the time he was old enough to understand the game, Dr. Gries was hooked. During the 1950's the Dodgers were America's team, as American history was being written. Before the team deserted Brooklyn after the 1957 season, Dr. Gries amassed extensive memorabilia, including the personally acquired autographs of Robinson and most of the other stars. His collection has grown over the ensuing decades, to include rare photographs, ticket stubs, a brick and an original seat from Ebbets Field. Anyone visiting his office in East Hills is treated to this shrine to a magical team and a magical time in America.
Although the Gries family was of modest means, Dr. Gries was afforded the finest education at private and public schools, where he benefitted greatly from some exceptional educators. During his six years at Yeshiva Rambam, he was significantly influenced and encouraged, particularly by fifth grade teacher, Mr. Harry Baum. A year later, Mr. Robert Becker assumed the role of role model, inspiration and dedicated 6th grade teacher at P.S. 206. Through the wonderful support and guidance received at Marine Park Junior High School, Dr. Gries thrived and managed to do well enough upon examination to be accepted into nationally esteemed Stuyvesant High School. The atmosphere of excellence at Stuyvesant was contagious, and raised the performance levels and career visions of most of its students, including Dr. Gries, who graduated with academic honors, and was chosen as the school's senior athlete of the year, in recognition of his participation on the varsity track team and his leadership as captain of the varsity baseball team. The latter honor would be replicated at Brooklyn College, where Dr. Gries once again was selected to be varsity baseball captain. It was there that he began his studies in psychology, and earned honors recognition when accepted into Psi Chi.
By the time Dr. Gries entered Brooklyn College, he had already started dating a new girl on the block. Susanne Laural Simmons was actually relatively new to America, having emigrated from England in 1959. She was less than 12 years old when she arrived, and 60 years later, she has held on to her distinctive accent and English colloquialisms. During the almost six decades that Susanne has been in Dr. Gries' life she has been a constant source of love, support, and encouragement. She has added to the early life parental messages of reaching for the stars, serving as an inspiration to experience life to the fullest, travelling to the four corners of the Earth, and returning home for more challenges and growth. Three years after they were married on January 25, 1970, and a month after moving into their home of a lifetime on South Street in East Hills, N.Y., their first son, James Robert was born. According to the book of babies' names, James connotes "supplanter", and true to form, he followed in his father's footsteps, and has become an accomplished psychologist in his own right. He and his wife, Lauren are the proud and loving parents of Ben, born in 2008, Jaci, born in 2011, and Harry, born in 2013. James' younger brother, Adam Edward, was born in 1975. Majoring in psychology as an undergraduate, Adam chose a different path to a comparable role as healer. He is a highly regarded acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese Medicine. He and his wife, Laura, are the proud and loving parents of Kali, born in 2013, Ananda, born in 2015, and Siara, born in 2017. Matthew Charles, the youngest of Dr. Gries' and Susanne's sons, was born in 1977. The exceptional creativity that he seemed to be born with ultimately found a home for Matt within a career in architecture. One of his earliest projects in his chosen field was to design a remodeling and expansion of the room in Dr. Gries' East Hills home that houses the shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Matthew and his wife, Kirstin, are the proud and loving parents of Monty, born in 2015, and London, born in 2018. That makes a total of eight grandchildren who fondly address their grandpa as "METS", the name assigned to him by then toddler, Ben, after reading a book together about the New York Mets. For Dr. Gries and Susanne, the grandchildren serve as constant reminders of life's blessings that have come to them, and to the previous generations of the family. It is noted that Dr. Gries' grandfather, Joseph Gries, and grandmother, Betsy Gries, became the first of their family to come to America, from their native Kraków in 1899, the year of the first edition of Who's Who in America.
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