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Get to Know Dr. Grace Waite, Licensed Psychologist

By September 9, 2021Dr. Grace Waite

What is your role at Integrated Care Clinic?

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Integrated Care Clinic which means that I graduated with my doctoral degree, and I have one more year of being supervised before I can become a licensed psychologist. 

Dr. Waite

Let’s break the ice: if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Without a doubt, sushi. While I love eating pretty much most foods, sushi has so much variety that I could eat it for the rest of my life without getting sick of it! 

Where did you go to school for undergrad? What did you study?

I attended the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee where I majored in Psychology and minored in English Literature. I actually started out attending USF in Tampa, but after a semester I realized that a smaller school was a better fit for me. That experience helped to define my path in graduate school and my focus working with college students during my graduate training. I wanted to help students who may have similar, or even more difficult, experiences as they make the transition to college and adjust to all of the unique stressors of life on campus. 

Where did you go to graduate school?

I went to graduate school at William James College in Newton, MA (which is right outside of Boston). I loved my time in the Northeast and will miss sweater weather and snow days. However, I am excited to be back in the sunshine, and I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about digging my car out of the snow again! 

Why did you decide to become a psychologist?  

To the best of my memory, there have only been two careers that I wanted to do: paleontologist when I was in kindergarten and psychologist when I was a sophomore in high school. While I still do love dinosaurs, I have always loved hearing others’ stories even more. When I learned that I could have a career where I not only listen to others, but also help them to gain greater understanding and control of their personal narrative, I knew that psychology was the right fit for me. 

Plus, I sunburn very easily-I just don’t think I would make it, digging out fossils in the sun all day! 

What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about helping people to find meaning, for themselves and in their relationships, in a world that is often busy and isolating. Human beings are social beings, and I love to help clients develop connections with others and engage in activities that help them to feel fulfilled in their lives.

Do you have any pets?  

Yes! I recently adopted two kittens from a shelter in Pinellas named Stromboli and Meatball. They are my constant examples of the importance of balancing high energy time with self-care (and cat naps!) 

Tell us your favorite joke!

It’s cheesy and psychology-themed (of course), but here it goes! 

Have you ever heard about Pavlov’s dogs?

I’m not sure, but the name rings a bell! 

What are the client ages you work with?

I have worked with clients ranging from 5 – 45 years old; however, my training thus far has been primarily focused on working with emerging adults and adults. I really enjoy supporting people during major periods of transition- whether it is starting college, approaching graduation, or starting a new career. During these times, we often experience a shift in how we see ourselves and how others see us, and I love to help people explore new identities while feeling connected with who they want to be. 

What clinical rotations have you done, and how have these shaped you as a clinician?  

I completed most of my clinical rotations during graduate school at university counseling centers. During my second year of graduate school, I worked at the New England Conservatory of Music where I learned how to support individuals pursuing careers in the competitive and demanding music profession. The following year I transitioned to working at the Rhode Island School of Design where I went from seeing highly competitive music students to highly competitive art students! Finally, I worked at Harvard University working with undergraduate and graduate students balancing demanding academic and extracurricular schedules. In each of these experiences, I developed expertise in not only helping my clients reach their professional goals but also increasing their satisfaction in their personal life.

Tell us about your internship/residency?

I just completed my internship at Florida State University Counseling and Psychological Services (completely virtually!). While I much prefer to meet with clients in person, I learned just how effective therapy via telehealth is. I worked with both undergraduate and graduate students with a variety of presenting concerns including depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, trauma, and family of origin concerns. I also received specialized training in group therapy which has become a major passion for me! While I know that the prospect of group therapy can be scary at first, I have also watched the group space be a huge catalyst for change. 

Additionally, I co-led many outreach events at Florida State and loved being able to connect with students who were learning about mental health resources for the first time. I learned how even one-hour presentations- on coping skills or sleep hygiene- can make huge differences. I think it is so important for information about mental health from trusted sources (such as mental health professionals) to be accessible to everyone!

What hobbies do you have? What do you like to do in your free time?

I have been an avid reader since childhood, and never leave the house without a book. I also love being active- whether it’s going for walks or practicing yoga. Since I am a native Floridian, I have also been enjoying being close to my family and friends again after being away for graduate school for four years. 

What do you plan to learn next in your career? Any areas you’d like to learn more about?

I am really excited to be joining the Integrative Care Clinic and learning more about being a clinician in a private practice setting. While I loved working at college counseling centers, I am excited to be transitioning from fast-paced short-term work to deciding on the pace and duration of treatment that works best for each client. With my experience working with individuals pursuing highly demanding careers- and the perfectionism that often comes with this- I am looking forward to learning more about Radically Open-Dialectical Therapy (RO-DBT) at Integrated Care Clinic. I am also interested in learning more about supporting clients around sexual health and intimacy concerns and hope to start the process of becoming a certified sex therapist!

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