I have a Master's Degree as a family nurse practitioner from Boston College. I have been practicing in the psychiatric field for 4 years now and have had experience with both inpatient and outpatient treatment. I have seen clients as young as six and as old as 90 and have had treatment success throughout this entire range. My philosophy is that the mind and body are inseparable in terms of treatment. As such, my philosophy is to treat people and promote mental health in the most holistic and comprehensive manner possible. This includes treating people emotionally through counseling and psychotherapy. Techniques that I use for this include: CBT, narrative therapy, mindfulness, and a very client-centered approach. I try to be as empathetic to clients as possible and help people sort through important life issues by providing a supportive and nurturing environment. I provide good listening skills and offer nonjudgmental insights and unbiased suggestions into life. I enjoy a sense of humor but take mental illness very seriously and put in maximum effort to help people as best as I can. I try to be understanding to my clients while being a human being and present in the room. In addition to emotional treatment through counseling, physical treatment is important as physical well-being strongly overlaps emotional well-being and mental health. This treatment is accomplished through multiple venues. First, is medication if needed and desired. Medication is often the quickest way to treat mental illness in terms of decreased suffering. For example, some medications for depression work within a week. No other type of treatment can boast this. For this reason, medication can be a great tool for treatment of mental illness. However, I am aware that some people prefer not to use medications due to fear of the side effects. This is why I also offer supplement and natural treatment recommendations in my practice for those who are inclined to go this route. There is also genesight genetic testing available at my practice. This allows DNA analysis to determine which medications are more likely to cause side effects and which are metabolized well by your body. It helps to cut down on people having to go through trial and error of so many drugs. A second way that I try to treat physical health in hopes of improving mental health is by recommending a diet plan. You are what you eat. If you are putting foods in your body that cause hormones to fluctuate, this can cause mood to fluctuate. Excess sugar, dairy, meat, lack of vitamin intake, gluten, and many others have directly contributed to depression and anxiety and even bipolar diagnoses. Furthermore, being overweight or obese can often lead to low self-esteem, and a general feeling of tiredness and malaise. I can help tailor a meal plan to combat this. Weight loss is a focus for the clients who feel they need it. A third way I try to treat people physically is by promoting exercise. Exercise is the single greatest treatment for mental illness in terms of improving outcomes and decreasing problematic symptoms. It also helps prevent a vast number of physical ailments as well. Now, it is no secret that exercise is important, everyone knows that. However, we often are not able to exercise regularly or consistently due to time constraints. I think back to times when I have needed therapy, and I often had to make a choice between therapy and exercise due to these time constraints. Furthermore, it can be difficult to exercise at times at gyms due to being self-conscious, not having the motivation to push ourselves, or no workout partner to help get us going. For these reasons, I have begun an optional new type of therapy in my practice, called exercise therapy. This is accomplished by means of the client and therapist working out by lifting weights or walking on a treadmill or Stairmaster next to each other during the therapy session. This is done to the comfort level that would allow me to listen maximally to the client and the client to be able to get the cathartic release that should accompany psychotherapy, but allows for the client and me to get much needed exercise in. This solves the problem of not having a workout buddy, the problem of having to choose between therapy and exercise due to time constraints, and solves the worry of being judged by others at a gym. Another aspect of physical (and mental) treatment that I will focus on is to help rid clients' of their addictions. This can be addictions to opiates, food, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, etc. These addictions cause toxins to be added to the body, as well as guilt, family strife, and dangerous lifestyles. Helping to remove these is another big goal of mine to promote wellness. The final way that I will mention I will try to help others at my wellness center is by recommending non-medical treatments to work alongside the medical treatments. Massage helps to decrease anxiety and likely depression. I am a massage therapist and can incorporate chair massage or foot reflexology into my treatments. I will also help with meditation and may recommend Yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki, or other modalities that may help further the wellness of individuals alongside my treatments.
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Clients come first. I will do my best to serve my clients through the use of evidence-based medicine, combined with listening to what has worked for the clients in the past, and the experiences I have been through as a practitioner.
Dr. Whitley's Experience
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Overall Patient Satisfaction
Likelihood of recommending Dr. Whitley to family and friends is 5 out of 5