Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Rachel Partiali.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Partiali. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I always had a natural interest in understanding human behavior and the psyche, but I never imagined I would become a psychologist. My early desire in understanding my inner world led me down the path of wanting to learn about myself. My curiosity of the mind drove me toward majoring in psychology as an undergraduate at UCLA. Yet, all along, I was planning on pursuing a career in the medical field. I shadowed different doctors to see which aspect of medicine resonated the most, but I never felt truly drawn to those experiences. In my last year of studies at UCLA, I went to my cousin’s graduation from psychology graduate school, and it was then that I realized that I, too, was going to become a psychologist.
Upon leaving that graduation, my decision to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist was solidified. I realized that I always had an innate curiosity and interest in understanding the psyche, and a desire for deeply connecting with people. It was about time that I showed the courage to pursue this passion. I felt that a career as a psychologist aligned with my belief that the mind and body are not separate, and that the relationship between the patient and the therapist facilities the healing process. I later obtained my M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
My decision to become a psychologist felt very fitting with my lifelong identity of being an artist. I believe therapy is both an art and science. As an artist, my creative process is about allowing whatever is in my unconscious to come forth onto the canvas. I see therapy in a similar way. In working with a patient, I stay sensitive to the hidden parts of that individual that wants to be acknowledged and seen. Just as the goal of the artist is to make visible the ineffable, the goal of my work with patients is to guide them through their psychic apparatus, helping them come in contact with, and express, the ineffable experiences that live within them. Through this expression, people can truly feel seen.
I wanted to broaden my experience as a psychologist by working with various individuals, presenting an array of psychological concerns. This led me to work at the UCLA counseling center with the undergraduate and graduate student population. My time there helped me further fine tune my interests and talents in working with certain populations. I now have ventured into full-time private practice. I love what I do, as it gives me a deep sense of fulfillment. I appreciate the opportunity to continuously evolve, both personally and professionally. Looking back at the process that has led to me where I am today, I can see that a career in psychology actually chose me all along, but I finally answered the calling.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been easy at all, but definitely worth the struggle! I knew I wanted to work for myself, and in doing so, I chose to move away from the safety of receiving a stable paycheck. The instability and excitement that came with being an entrepreneur has challenged me to move beyond my comfort zone and personal limitations. I never realized that my biggest challenge would be in finding my authentic voice as a psychologist and allowing the authentic me to be seen. My comfort has always been to somehow remain hidden and “safe.” The desire to expand my business led to an increase between the tension of wanting to remain safe, and the desire to find my voice. Currently, my comfort zone has expanded and I feel most fulfilled when I am able to share my authentic self with others.
Another obstacle has been learning how to emotionally take care of myself. I have always been adept at being compassionate and attuned to the needs of others. My area of growth was, and still is, expanding my capacity to self-care. I’ve realized that the greatest form of self-care I can do is to be with the emotions that arise within me. This has led me to cultivate and deepen my sense of self-compassion. I have seen, both from personal and professional experience, that compassion is a crucial element in the healing process.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a clinical psychologist in private practice, where I treat adolescents, adults, and couples. Although I work with a wide range of individuals, I specialize in treating relationship concerns, trauma, sexual abuse, eating disorders, LGBT issues, acculturation concerns, and I often work with creative artists and highly sensitive individuals.
I view every person I treat as a holistic being. I believe that each one of us is a rich, unique, and complex individual who cannot be reduced to a constellation of symptoms. In my work, I focus on the whole person, while trying to understand the complexities that have created the symptoms that are bringing the individual into therapy. I believe the relationship is the curative factor in therapy. Whatever the origins of our woundings, they occurred within the context of a relationship, and it is a healthy therapeutic relationship that can help us process and move past those wounds. My goal is to meet the person wherever they are at emotionally, creating a sense of rapport and safety. I believe that safety is key in being able to open up emotionally.
One thing that sets me apart from others, and I feel most proud of, is my fierce dedication to my own personal growth. As a psychologist, the tool I bring into the therapy room is myself. This includes both the knowledge I have, but also my emotional development. I am not afraid to face my emotional pain, which has given me the strength and capacity to create the space for my patients’ pain to come forth. My growth process has led me on a journey of exploring and learning various healing modalities, which I bring with me in the therapy room. I also genuinely care about my patients, and feel an immense sense of gratitude to each one of them; knowing that they are helping my growth as much as I may be helping them.
What were you like growing up?
I have always had a strong interest in my own psychology. This curiosity drove me toward the exploration of my inner world, and early on, art became the language in which I found and expressed myself. My mother was an artist and an art teacher, and her love of art was instilled in me from a young age. Art has always been a major part of my life, whether it has been creating art, appreciate all the art that is around me, or walking people through the creative path of getting to know their own psychology. Growing up, I was somewhat shy and I craved for deeper connections. I was also very sensitive to my surroundings and to the emotions of others. Even as a young kid, I felt quite attuned to how others were feeling and felt a strong sense of empathy for people and for the planet. I have always felt very connected to nature and remember feeling the most sense of groundedness and inner peace when I was in nature. I really loved climbing trees as a kid, and still, enjoy doing that today!
- Address: 2730 Wilshire Blvd.
- Website: www.drpartiali.com
- Phone: (310) 773-0037
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Rachel Negar Partiali, Ph.D.