We welcome Dr. Karen Yan, our newest RIVIA team member. Dr. Yan was a practicing corporate lawyer before deciding to pursue her MD in Psychiatry. Interested in booking an appointment with Dr. Yan? Get to know more about her.
You were a lawyer before becoming a doctor, what made you pursue your medical degree in psychiatry?
As a corporate lawyer turned physician, I get asked this question a lot. The answer is not a straightforward one. There was no one big “aha” moment. It was through years of observation while working in the legal and banking industries that I began to appreciate the alarming number of professionals struggling with mental health issues and yet not realizing either that they needed help or that it was okay to seek help. For example, every few weeks I would read in the ABA journal about an attorney having committed suicide. There was, and unfortunately still is, too much stigma attached to mental illness and many worry that receiving mental health treatment would have negative repercussions on their career. The desire to do something about this gradually built up over the years and I think I finally reached a point where I felt ready intellectually to take on the challenge. Now that I have become a psychiatrist, I see my role as not only a treatment provider but also an educator – to educate and increase awareness of mental health issues and the available treatments for my patients, their families and the general public.
What should someone look for when choosing a therapist?
I think it is important, first and foremost, to identify what problems you are trying to address in therapy, since most therapists focus on treating certain conditions more than others and/or have specialized training in specific therapeutic modalities. Once you have found a therapist whose areas of expertise match your needs, it would then be important to determine your “goodness of fit” with this therapist. There is no set formula for this and you just have to go with your “feel.” Keep in mind that your therapist is someone you would be seeing frequently so ideally you would want to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings. Your therapy sessions should be something you look forward to attending and not see as a burden.
Interested in booking an appointment with Dr. Yan? Click here or the image below.