“Our minds and bodies are connected and a sense of well-being comes when both are aligned, so I take a holistic approach in the work I do.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
As a child, I was pretty quiet—I liked to take in my surroundings, observe, and listen to what was happening around me. I always had a natural curiosity about human behavior, but I also knew at an early age that I wanted to be a doctor and help care for people. It wasn’t until I took my first psychology class during my senior year of high school that I realized I could combine my two passions. In medical school, I was interested in different specialties, including OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinology, but I realized at the end that it was listening to people’s stories and bearing witness to their experiences that resonated with me the most. That’s what ultimately led to my decision to become a psychiatrist.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
To me, being a psychiatrist means bridging mental and physical health. Our minds and bodies are connected and a sense of well-being comes when both are aligned, so I take a holistic approach in the work I do. We will first do a consultation call and then an in-person session. This way, I can conduct a comprehensive evaluation and you can see if we’re a good fit. The initial session will involve obtaining your medical, social, and spiritual history as well as exploring your goals for treatment. I believe in collaborating with my clients and working together to develop a plan of care based on your needs, goals, and values. I have experience using different modalities, including medications and psychotherapy. My strategy is to first assess which modalities are needed—we can then work together to implement them.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
Collaboration is a key component to the work I do and it has been a part of all of the roles I have held as a psychiatrist. The well-being of my clients is the ultimate goal of care. As a result, there are many times when I will need to work with other providers who have more expertise to help my clients reach their goals. This may include working with a nutritionist or referring my client for a neuropsych evaluation. One important way I ensure successful collaboration is to maintain communication with all of the providers involved in the care of my clients.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
I’ve worked with and across many different communities, and I still see stigma as the biggest barrier to people seeking care. One of my passions has been to help reduce the stigma by having more everyday conversations about mental health and what it looks like in different communities. I think that people have been fearful of engaging in care because they are scared they will be misunderstood or unfairly labeled. I believe that the more we can have open dialogue around mental health and mental health care, the more we can normalize the experience and lessen the stigma.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited about the increase in representation across all populations in the mental health landscape. In the past, people who were looking for help wouldn’t be able to find therapists or psychiatrists from similar backgrounds as them, which then became yet another barrier to getting the care they needed. Now, there is more opportunity than ever before for people to find mental health professionals who are the right fit. Diversity in the mental health landscape leads to a richness in the experience for all involved, not just for the client. And it also leads to better outcomes for everyone.
“I believe that the more we can have open dialogue around mental health and mental health care, the more we can normalize the experience and lessen the stigma.”
Interested in speaking with Rachelle?