The Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Training Program (MHTP) is thrilled to spotlight Allana Robinson, Psy.D. (she/her), a postdoctoral resident at KP Pleasanton. Dr. Robinson was nominated to be featured in the newsletter by Training Director Margot Green, Ph.D., due to her outstanding clinical skills and cutting-edge, impactful program evaluation project.
Dr. Robinson graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2022 and is completing her postdoctoral residency at KP Pleasanton with the Maternal Infant Resilience (MIR) program embedded in the OB-GYN and Pediatrics departments. The MIR program is focused on women’s mental health, pediatric care, and preventing the intergenerational impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Dr. Robinson’s emphasis is the micro-perspective, and much of her work surrounds supporting patients through peripartum and postpartum mood and patients with ACEs. She provides individual and group therapy services related to a variety of topics and issues, including baby bonding, reproductive health, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, neonatal loss, chronic pain and pelvic pain. She also supports pregnancy counseling for those contemplating decisions impacting their family and has recently provided an in-service with an MIR staff pediatric health psychologist to pediatric staff surrounding supporting pregnant teenagers and their families. Dr. Robinson is also enjoying her community benefit work through KP, providing mentorship to a high school student. She loves giving back to the community and enjoys that this work challenges her in different ways than her clinical work.
One of the highlights of Dr. Robinson’s training year has been working on her program evaluation project, which focuses on how to foster resilience among postpartum patients with perceived traumatic labor and delivery experiences. Specifically, she is looking at how more support can be provided to women who are 4-6 weeks postpartum. In her research, Dr. Robinson was struck by the deficits in the U.S. healthcare system related to postpartum mental health. For her project, she is collaborating with current staff to provide 5-6 appointments for birthing parents to process their traumatic labor and delivery experiences. She works through a narrative perspective and invites partners or birthing support people to join in the sessions. They discuss how the experience impacted the family, issues related to baby bonding, and collaborate with the medical team to process the aftercare summary from labor and delivery. Dr. Robinson is collecting pre- and post- data to understand how the sessions may impact patient experiences and mental health. Dr. Robinson is grateful for the support she has received surrounding this project, and proud of the time and research she has put into it.
The MIR postdoctoral residency is a perfect fit for Dr. Robinson, as it aligns with her career goals of specializing in mental health care for women and children. She hopes to one day open a multidisciplinary group practice and partner with nurse practitioners, doulas, and MFTs to provide comprehensive services. In the near future, Dr. Robinson hopes to stay within perinatal mental health and incorporate more specialized psychology care related to gender care, menopausal concerns, and eating disorders.
When discussing her passion for the field of psychology, Dr. Robinson reflected on influential professors she had during her undergraduate years who drew her to initially want to pursue an MFT. Her interest and commitment to family systems and connection prompted her to attend graduate school, and she decided to pursue her doctorate to further her education. She is passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health within communities of people of color, and particularly within the Black community. As a Black woman in the mental health field, Dr. Robinson wants to provide representation and fill in the spaces that she can.
In her free time, Dr. Robinson enjoys hiking, reading, painting, making cards, and baking. However, she does not have a ton of free time at the moment, as she is also studying for licensure tests! We thank you for all you have done for our patients and communities this year, Dr. Robinson. We look forward to seeing you achieve all your goals for this training year and beyond!
Contributed by Micaela Birt