“It brings me great joy to help people find hope when they think all is lost.”
What was your path to becoming a provider? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I have always wanted to help others, especially those who have gone through hard times and felt like they were not getting the help they needed. I believe that we are naive to think we can go through life without struggle and that we don’t need help getting through those tough situations. It brings me great joy to help people find hope when they think all is lost. In psychiatry, we can empower the client to make the best decisions for themselves—with the help and guidance of a professional.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I am known for being pretty thorough in my assessment and style. I like to get to know my clients as people. To do that, I take an overview of their upbringing and current living situation. I think it’s important to know what has worked in the past for clients and what their perspective is on their current state of mental health. I also think it’s important to include physical health in my approach, so I can make sure there are no other contributing factors to the situation.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
It is extremely important that clients follow up with their therapists and primary care physicians to facilitate the maximum functioning of and rehabilitation to their mental health. Without other peers to collaborate with in this process, the client and the provider exist on an island and can’t achieve their goals.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
There are many barriers that inhibit people from seeking care, but many of them are because of their different cultures or different frames of reference about what the experience may feel like. Some clients have had poor experiences with other providers, which wards them off from seeing someone new. They may also feel nervous about entrusting someone with their mental health or feel doubtful that anyone can really help them. People still hold biases against others who reach out to mental health providers or seek help. We see this especially in professions like healthcare, law enforcement, and teaching—there’s a fear that their jobs will be impacted and they’ll face judgment. Increasing representation among providers—so people can find the right therapist for them—will dissolve these barriers.
How do you approach the client-provider relationship?
I believe that it’s important for the client and the provider to come up with a mutual goal for the client’s mental health. I am open to working with the client and choosing the medications and doses that work best for them, as well as encouraging non-pharmacologic, evidence-based therapies. Medication on its own is not the answer, and therapy without medication isn’t always completely effective. Two weeks after an initial evaluation, the client will return for a visit and we will check in monthly to see how things are going. I am always available for clients outside office visits because I truly care about their progress.
“Medication on its own is not the answer, and therapy without medication isn’t always completely effective.”
Interested in speaking with Elizabeth?