Company: Sanders Psychological Services
Location: Choctaw, Oklahoma, United States
Gilbert Sanders, Founder at Sanders Psychological Services, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements, and leadership in military and private psychology practice and administration.
Following coursework at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, Dr. Sanders obtained a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967. He then completion of Air Force ROTC training and was commissioned as a second lieutenant and with the Public Affairs office of Maxwell Air Force Base served as the Editor of the Maxwell-Gunter Post Dispatch and later as a Liaison Officer for the establishment of the Vietnamese version of the U.S. Air Force’s Squadron Officer School in Nha Trang in the Republic of Vietnam. During this time he began studies toward a master’s degree in psychology from Troy State University.
Dr. Sanders’ first wife Marlyn, a niece of Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, encouraged him to transfer to the Army, where he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam after completing field artillery training. John Paul Vann, senior advisor for the Second Corps, noting Dr. Sanders’ master’s degree training, urged Dr. Sanders to found the first treatment center for substance abuse in a combat zone of Vietnam. The Pleiku Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Center turned out to be a key treatment facility for the then-rampant drug abuse in order to increase effectiveness of the troops and led to the Army’s decision to embed psychologists in combat units.
After returning to the United States, Dr. Sanders obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in counseling psychology in 1974 from The University of Tulsa. In the following years he taught psychology and had a private practice while remaining in the Army Reserves. He prospered as the senior operational psychologist and behavioral sciences program manager for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations’ Decompression Reintegration Center in Ramstein, Germany, working for the Division of Immigration Health Services at the INS Medical Detention and Referral Center in El Centro, California and as the Western Region Behavioral Medicine consultant for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In 1992, Dr. Sanders was promoted to director of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Program at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he created the first comprehensive drug treatment program at a maximum-security federal correctional institution. In 2002, he founded his private practice, Sanders Psychological Services, and in 2020 was a Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Currently, he is also Counselor Representative for the American Psychological Association, which was a longtime goal.
To remain aware of changes and advancements in his field, Dr. Sanders maintains affiliations with the American Psychological Association, Psychologist in Public Service, the Society for Military Psychology, the American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy, the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the Alaska Psychological Association, the Oklahoma Psychological Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists-Clinical, the Reserve Officers Association, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States and the Commissioned Officers Association. His honors include the Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy from the American Psychological Association and a Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Practice of Psychology from American Psychological Foundation and American Psychological Association.
Dr. Sanders attributes his success to the love and support of his parents and was fortunate to be surrounded with individuals who were dedicated to their profession and to providing services to individuals. As a career highlight, he cites his work with the Office of Special Investigations, mentioning Dr. David Ray and Dr. Larry Louis, who worked with him at Rehabilitation Integration Center in Germany. In the near future, he would like to own a small community radio station to be able to service the small community with the radio station. In addition, he volunteers for the archdiocese of Oklahoma City and he wants do more in that area, locally and nationally.
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