This month, the Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Training Programs (MHTP) are excited to spotlight psychologist Jessica Williams, Psy.D. (she/her), a supervisor at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville who got her start at KP as a postdoctoral resident 15 years ago! Dr. Williams currently works in Collaborative Care, and has been active in the training programs as an individual supervisor, group supervisor, and program evaluation supervisor. She is also part of the team that secured APA accreditation for her site several years ago, and additionally contributes to the training programs by providing didactic presentations to trainees every year. Dr. Williams is also supervisor for psychological associates and participates in the regional mentorship program!
Dr. Williams loves being involved with professionals who are new to the field. Working with trainees keeps her on her toes with regard to new deployments in theory and practice and keeps her sharp in her ability to see the world through others’ perspectives. She is constantly amazed at the breadth of experiences and approaches trainees bring to the field and likens her work with trainees to receiving continuing education units on a daily basis! She also enjoys getting to practice and utilize her experiences and knowledge to help others grow. She views it as “an astounding mutually beneficial symbiosis.”
For as long as she can remember, Dr. Williams knew she would enter the helping field as a nurse or therapist. Growing up, she was taught to “learn a good trade that people will always need,” and took that to heart. Although physically probing people did not appeal to her, probing the mind was fascinating. She loved to listen to and hear people’s stories. After taking a peer counseling class in high school, she felt called to therapy. She wanted to help people by listening to their stories, identifying their needs and goals, and supporting them with her expertise and resources.
Dr. Williams loves working in a Collaborative Care setting, and truly views it as the future of mental health care. She believes it a disservice to silo the mind from the body; we are whole human beings, and she wants the field to mirror that. She views it not only as better patient care, but better human care and better self-care for providers. She is proud of the work her program does daily to meet patient needs and support providers who benefit from consulting with someone in mental health. In her role, she is able to see patients on the spot who need a little help understanding their struggles and moving forward. She is often met with gratitude from patients and colleagues and enjoys how meaningful she finds the work. In addition to daily responsibilities, Dr. Williams also facilitates a class on Living with Chronic Illness to enhance quality of life for patients struggling with chronic mental and physical health issues.
In the Collaborative Care setting, Dr. Williams has the opportunity to work with medical providers as well as mental health providers, and her colleagues are one of her favorite parts of her job. She considers it an honor to share the melding of medical and psychological with mental health trainees, patients, and providers. Dr. Williams states, “What could be better than working with good people who have a passion for what we do and serve a purpose bigger than ourselves? I love what I do.”
Dr. Williams describes herself as a “homebody” who never passes up the chance to read a good book with a cup of tea and her four furry family members fighting for space on her lap. When the weather is nice, she also enjoys getting outside for a hike with friends and her dogs.
Dr. Williams states that she is “utterly passionate” about what she does, and enjoys sharing her passion with others. Your dedication and excitement are palpable, Dr. Williams! We are very fortunate indeed to have you playing such an active role in the training programs.
Contributed by Jessica Williams