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A Therapist with a Focus on Psychoneuroimmunology with Rachel Fintzy – Episode 75

Show Notes

Rachel Fintzy is a psychotherapist who works in private practice and at UCLA Santa Monica, with a focus on psychoneuroimmunology. In this interview, Rachel discusses her client population, her niche, how she built her private psychotherapy practice and the therapeutic workshops she leads around Los Angeles.

Interview Highlights

[3:14]  Rachel talks about how she was introduced to therapy. Her father was a psychiatrist and she was attracted to the field early on. She went to school to study theatre initially, then switched her major to psychology. Rachel was diagnosed with a rare health issue after college, and this influenced every part of her life. She researched her disease and through that learned about the importance of nutrition.

[6:48]  Rachel says that her theatrical training helps her lead role plays in with her therapy clients.

[7:50]  Rachel helps people manage stress and emotions, which are closely related. She often works in collaboration with her clients’ medical professionals.

[10:00]  Rachel tries to help people connect with their creativity for the joy of the process, not solely for productivity. She also works with clients with eating disorders.

[12:08]  Rachel talks about her interest in the mind body connection. She’s been interested in this since childhood, and her own health crisis intensified this interest.

[13:15]  Rachel speaks about the kinds of clients she sees. Some of the people she sees have had a  stroke, or suffer from Lyme disease, obesity, and ADHD.

[15:21]  Rachel splits her work time between seeing clients and research work at UCLA. She sees therapy clients in person one day a week and counsels others over the phone during the day or evening. She sees 10-15 clients per week. She also does workshops and blogs.

[17:29]  Rachel talks about leading medical improvisation sessions with a colleague at UCLA. Medical improv helps doctors have a greater sense of empathy for their patients and bridges the social and economic distances between doctor and patient.

[19:45]  Rachel explains her workshops. She recently held several anxiety workshops that were well attended. Healthy versus emotional eating is another popular workshop she does.

[22:15]  Rachel discusses her career path and strategies. After the 1994 earthquake in southern California, FEMA hired a group of stress management trained therapists, and Rachel was one of these. She also approached a local YMCA to lead workshops there. That relationship has been ongoing for 6 years. Rachel has trained in mindfulness and also leads a workshop around mindfulness and addiction.

[25:21]  Hiring a web designer was a good choice for Rachel’s business. She’s active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, and does get clients from these platforms.

[27:10]  Rachel says she blogs every other week. She spends a half an hour a day on social media. Rachel also has a growing email list and sends out a monthly newsletter.

[28:20]  Rachel says her biggest work hurdle has been perfectionism.

[30:17]  Rachel explains how she got over perfectionism. She set a timer and said, “I will write poorly for about an hour,” and then did it. Rachel says brainstorming can produce good ideas if you set a time and create a space to work.

[31:47]  Rachel’s advice to new therapists in private practice is to be open to possibilities and chances. Go to continuing education courses in person, network, and take the initiative.

Bio – Rachel Fintzy – Licensed Psychotherapist, Santa Monica, CA

Rachel Fintzy is a licensed psychotherapist in Santa Monica, California, who specializes in psychoneuroimmunology, the relationship between emotions, the nervous system and the immune system, and how to foster healthy emotional and mental states to enhance resistance to physical disease.

For the past 17 years, Rachel has also been directing and coordinating clinical research studies at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in mind/body wellness, ADHD, substance abuse, and the connection between traumatic injury, depression, and PTSD.

Rachel helps people both in her private practice and in workshops to access, understand, and regulate their emotions, modify their lifestyle choices, and improve their interpersonal relationships, to support optimal well-being.

Rachel works with people who are at risk for or who have suffered chronic or life-altering conditions, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme disease, obesity, and emotional eating. Rachel also works with family members and loved ones of those dealing with these conditions.

You can find out more about Rachel and her work at www.rachelfintzy.com and her blog Cultivating Contentment and Happiness at Psych Central.

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Replays of past episodes can be found here.

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