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Phyllis Blanchard

In the study of women psychologists, Dr. Phyllis Blanchard is less than well known. Although her books can still be found on library shelves, her personal history is largely a mystery. This webpage is part of an ongoing attempt to learn more about her life, theories, and practices. It is important to note that her personal files remain to be found.

Phyllis Blanchard was born in 1895 in Epping, New Hampshire, and later attended New Hampshire College. After graduating in 1917, she went on to Clark University to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology, which she received in 1919.  The next year she became a research assistant under G. Stanley Hall.  Following that, she worked in New York City at the Psychopathic Service of Bellevue Hospital. (Hankins)  Her time there prompted the book Abnormal Behavior.

Phyllis Blanchard began working for guidance clinics in 1922.  After working in the Monmouth County clinic as well as the Los Angeles clinic she came to Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic in March of 1925.  On June 11, 1927 she was listed as “Dr. Phyllis Blanchard, Chief Psychologist” among the clinic’s permanent staff.  She worked there until November of 1956, after which point she remained a consultant for an indeterminate amount of time.(Hankins)

Over the years, Dr. Blanchard published many books and articles which researched issues we are still studying today, especially educational achievement and the period of adolescence. Through these books we can learn about her Freudian position and her work in psychoanalysis with children as a psychologist. We can also see a more complete picture of a child, one that involves biology, psychology, and sociology and the interaction between them. It seems that Hall as well as her time at the guidance clinic led to this way of thinking. She was quite unusual for her era in the subjects she studied and the ways she studied them.

Dr. Blanchard died on September 3, 1986, outliving her husband, Walter Lucasse, who was a chemistry professor at University of Pennsylvania. It is not certain whether or not she had children, but she left behind no immediate relatives. Although not well recognized today, her works dealt with cognitive and developmental psychology before the fields had truly been established.

(Site created by Diana Lowell on May 2, 2003. All research is incomplete and additions or changes may be sent to provided email address.)