I grew up in a family with a psychiatrist/ psychoanalyst father and clinical psychotherapist mother. At the dinner table my siblings and I would compete about the correct diagnosis of my father’s anonymous patients.
One of my sisters eventually became a psychiatric social worker and married a psychiatrist. The other became a clinical psychologist. I married a Jungian analyst. (No, my two children have not followed in the field.)
As a young adult, I went into classical (three times a week) Freudian psychoanalysis to treat my own depression and anxiety. After nine years of feeling worse, I vowed never to become a psychiatrist.
Finally in medical school, (and despite all protestations), I realized that psychiatry was the one rotation where I actually got to talk to my patients about their feelings, not just their livers and lab results! I could empathize with so many of them; because I, too, had experienced my own suffering.
Ultimately I promised myself that I could become a different kind of psychiatrist than the ones I had gone to: Unlike them, I wanted to integrate the mind, body, and soul of my patients from a caring place. Meanwhile, I had the great opportunity of working with several wonderful, empathic clinicians, who were not only healers, but great teachers for me. Since then I have been in private practice in the Bay Area, (with an office in Novato, but currently using telecommunication) for 38 years.
I wanted to integrate the mind, body, and soul of my patients from a caring placePatricia J. Stamm, MD
I wish you all safety and peace.