History

Founded in 1980 as the Center for Humanistic Studies, the school grew out of the humanistic psychology movement under the leadership of its founders. As the school expanded, the program offerings of the Master of Arts (MA) and Specialist in Psychology (PsyS) degrees in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology were enhanced by the addition of the Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) degree and, later, a Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program.

Originally located in downtown Detroit, the school moved to its present location in Farmington Hills in 2003, with a name change in 2006 to the Michigan School of Professional Psychology (MiSPP). In 2018, the institution became the Michigan School of Psychology (MSP) to communicate its institutional identity more clearly to the wider community.

1962

Dr. Clark Moustakas, faculty member at the Merrill-Palmer Institute (MPI) in Detroit, Michigan, participates in the formation of the American Association of Humanistic Psychology and the creation of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

Psyd-School-Merrill-Palmer
Merrill-Palmer Institute (MPI)

1970

Dr. Cereta Perry joins the faculty of MPI after studying with Dr. Clark Moustakas during her doctoral work.

1970-1971

Enhancing Human Potential (EHP) Certification is established by Drs. Clark Moustakas and Cereta Perry at the Merrill-Palmer Institute (MPI).

Black and white photo of Clark Moustakas and Cereta Perry
Clark Moustakas and Cereta Perry

1978

The first degree program, MA in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, is launched at MPI. Drs. Diane Blau and Bruce Douglass, graduates of the EHP program, become faculty of the new program.

1979

MPI announces it will close due to bankruptcy.

1980-1981

Drs. Clark Moustakas, Cereta Perry, Diane Blau and Bruce Douglass commit to keep the MPI psychology programs alive. The Center for Humanistic Studies (CHS) establishes its independence from the Merrill-Palmer Institute. CHS is awarded the degree-granting charter of MPI.

Black and white photo of the Center for Humanistic Studies
Center for Humanistic Studies

1981-1982

With the aid of dedicated students, CHS moves into 40 E. Ferry Ave. in Detroit. Candidacy for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC/NCA) is granted. EHP Certification evolves into a Specialist Degree (PsyS). CHS graduates its first MA and PsyS classes.

1984

CHS receives full accreditation from HLC/NCA.

Black and white photo of early faculty meeting at CHS. From left: Cereta Perry, Diane Blau, Clark Moustakas, Mary Erlandson, and Bruce Douglass
Early faculty meeting at CHS. From left: Cereta Perry, Diane Blau, Clark Moustakas, Mary Erlandson, and Bruce Douglass

2000

The HLC/NCA extends CHS accreditation for a Doctoral Program (PsyD) in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology.

2001-2003

Land is purchased and a new campus is built in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

2006

CHS celebrates its rich history on its 25th Anniversary and the dedication of its new name: Michigan School of Professional Psychology (MiSPP).

MiSPP receives re-accreditation from HLC/NCA.

Photo of Michigan School of Professional Psychology building in the fall.
Michigan School of Professional Psychology campus

2007

MiSPP co-sponsors the 1st Annual APA – Division 32 National Conference and continues to sponsor those that follow.

2010

Dr. Clark Moustakas receives Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions in Humanistic Psychology from the Society of Humanistic Psychology – Division 32 at the 118th APA Conference in San Diego, CA.

First Honorary Doctorate Degree awarded to State Senator Gilda Z. Jacobs for her contribution to Professional Psychology in Michigan.

MiSPP mourns the death of Professor Emerita and Co-Founder, Dr. Cereta E. Perry. The Cereta Perry Scholarship is created in her memory.

Image of Sen. Jacobs and Sandy K at 2010 graduation.
State Senator Gilda Z Jacobs and then Board President Sandy Koltonow

2012

MiSPP mourns the death of Professor Emeritus and Co-Founder, Dr. Clark Moustakas.

2016

MiSPP’s PsyD program in clinical psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Property adjacent to the current campus in Farmington Hills is acquired to build the Michigan School Clinic and a community education and training center.

MiSPP celebrates its 35th anniversary with a reunion gala at the Guardian Building in Detroit for alums of Merrill Palmer Institute, the Center for Humanistic Studies, and MiSPP.

Attendees of the 35th Anniversary Reunion Gala

2017

MiSPP received continued accreditation from HLC/NCA; next reaffirmation for accreditation in 2026-2027.

Curriculum and Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is launched.

2018

MiSPP redefines its mission, purpose, and core values and becomes the Michigan School of Psychology (MSP).  The new name includes a new MSP logo to communicate more clearly its institutional identity to the wider community.

MSP’s Board of Trustees announces that as part of the campus expansion the new building will be named the “Diane S. Blau” building in honor of Dr. Diane Blau, President Emeritus & Co-Founder.

Image of new MSP logo on front of building.
MSP's new logo!

2019

Dr. Diane Blau and MSP are awarded the Charlotte and Karl Buhler Award from Division 32.

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