Helping people change their lives and find strength and happiness is one of the greatest joys of my career. I’ve had the privilege of helping people address obstacles that were standing in their way such as negative thoughts and beliefs, relationship issues, or feeling weighed down by a culture that gives damaging messages about our bodies and our worth.
I’ve always had a passion for prevention and helping people build skills and knowledge to enhance and improve their lives. As a doctoral student, I studied body dissatisfaction and the prevention of eating disorders. I attacked the issue from both sides – publishing and presenting research as well as developing programs and courses to put the research into practice.
While doing my clinical training at Duke University, I began collaborating with an Eating Disorders Specialist to develop a comprehensive program to address many of the issues and vulnerabilities that contribute to the development of eating disorders. We offered classes to help students address all of the aspects of their lives that can leave them vulnerable.
It was incredible to see the light bulbs going off in the students’ minds as we taught them and trained them through the course. When I began working at Colgate, I brought this program with me and continued to develop and offer it to students on campus. I quickly realized that my fellow psychologist and I were making a difference approximately 10 students at a time. At this rate we would reach very few people during our careers. The same holds true for private practice.
There is nothing more rewarding than helping clients to see themselves differently and make positive changes in their lives. But I (and fellow psychologists) can only see so many people in person, and that platform can never reach everyone. Not everyone thinks to (or wants to) see someone like me, and many people live their whole lives feeling anxious and not very good about themselves without ever realizing things could be different.
Then one day I had my own lightbulb moment – bring psychology to everyone with practical information people can use in their everyday lives. Share knowledge and things I teach my clients all the time. Things I would never have known either if I hadn’t pursued this career. Offer these programs in an online format so that someone across the country or world has the same access as someone nearby. This is how Practical Psych came to be. This is not an exhaustive site dealing with all psychological issues or topics. This blog reflects my work and my areas of expertise. It can never replace the work between a therapist and client, but it can help you to learn and apply psychology to your life to hopefully make it better and feel better about yourself.