In our ongoing series 'Clinician Spotlight', we learn more about all the amazing clinicians here at Newton Neuropsychology Group. In this installment, we sit with Dr. Kristin Schultz to learn more about her!
What do you hope clients gain when working with you?
I hope that clients gain insight into how their minds work and I hope to help give them practical ways to harness their strengths and bolster their growing edges. Everyone
who comes for testing is unique and I try to capture that. Often patients come into the assessment situation with a lot of anxiety about what is going on with them (or their
child) and anxiety about the entire testing process. Many have never been tested before and have no idea what to expect. It is my hope that I ease that anxiety while staying focused on the task at hand- how to understand this person and convey what insights and recommendations I have in a clear way. These insights are based on listening to them, communication with people in their lives, and the actual tests. Ideally, they feel understood, listened to, supported, have a better sense of who they are, and are armed with a plan going forward.
What are some challenges you have faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
I would say that finding my niche took a little time. I always had testing experience wherever I went, but it took me time to realize that my real passion is in testing, not so much in therapy, supervision, or management. I took a longer route to get where I am, but I think this makes me have insight and understanding that I might not have otherwise. Having worked closely with adults and children in different settings has helped me understand what it is like to experience different problems on a day-to-day basis, and it helped me see how different interventions can promote health, growth, and wellness.
What experiences have brought you to this profession?
Someone close to me experienced severe and persistent mental illness and it made me want to help others with similar struggles. When I was in college, I started working in supported housing with adults with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions, and then I got a job working in a specialized residential treatment program (based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy) for women diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder complicated by severe trauma histories, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and some with substance use disorders.The job was tough, but very rewarding. I loved connecting with the women and watching them learn and grow. I also got very good training at that job, and it cemented my desire to continue the path to becoming a psychologist.
What are some important values that come to mind when working with clients?
Really hearing what patients have to say, what their concerns are, what they are looking
for and then trying to help. Respect, collaboration, good communication, responsiveness,
empathy, and being a calming presence are important. Humor can also go a long way
with many people!
How do you spend your free time?
I spend as much time as I can with my elderly parents in New Hampshire. They have a lovely place on a lake and I enjoying swimming, boating, kayaking, and simply taking in the beauty of the area. I have 3 fur babies (2 kittens and 1 dog), so I have my hands full at home! I also spend time with my good friends on a regular basis.
Lastly, what parts of your work do you enjoy the most?
I feel very lucky because I enjoy most parts of my work. I like meeting and learning about different people and sharing in their journeys. I like administration of tests, scoring, interpretation, and I love writing. And finally, I like and respect my colleagues at Newton Neuropsychology Group!
Thank you, Dr. Schultz, for letting us learn a little more about yourself! Tune in for more exciting Clinician Spotlights!