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about

I live in beautiful and historic Charlottesville, Virginia (as pictured above), and have a love of family, our pets, nature, good food and good music. I began my journey as a student of hard science and music composition, and within a few years of college connected to a passion for helping others become the best versions of themselves. It was evident to me that doing so through psychology would require the highest level of training and a life-long commitment to learning and listening. I have been privileged to facilitate change for individuals, teams and organizations for over 20 years as a licensed and board certified psychologist.

When I’m not engaged in therapy, consultation, or the On Change audio blog, I am focused on my kids, my creative pursuits, spending time in nature, and or discovering new and wonderful places to eat in Charlottesville.

My qualifications

Credentials

1992 - B.S. from Clark University with a major in Psychology, and minors in Biology and Music.

1994, 1997 - Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Psychological Studies.

1998 - Licensure in Clinical Psychology.

2008 - Board Certification in Clinical Psychology.

Leadership

It has been a privilege to lead regional and national organizations over the course of my career. As President of the Broward County Psychological Association, I represented over 500 licensed Psychologists and supported the organization in growing to the largest in the state of Florida. As President of the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA), I lead on Executive Board of 14 with organizational and external goals in support of training in Psychology. In that role, I represented over 180 Training Directors who themselves supported 600+ doctoral interns in psychology completing capstone years in the process of becoming licensed Psychologists. Nationally, issues of diversity in psychology, social justice as a primary psychological issue, internship match, and workforce analysis were key areas of focus.

Speaking & teaching

I have been honored to give invited talks and plenary panels throughout the country at Conferences and Universities on topics including Contemporary Issues in Psychology, Eating Issues and Body Image Concerns, Brief Psychotherapy, The Changing Landscape of Collegiate Mental Health and Intersecting Identities. It has also been a great joy to engage in teaching, and I have taught over 25 full graduate and undergraduate Psychology courses at The University of Virginia, Nova Southeastern University, and Piedmont Community College. Courses include:

Body Image and The Media

Eating Disorders: Theory and Intervention

Introduction to Psychology

Conceptual Foundations of Psychology

Practice of Medicine (Interviewing and Assessment skills)

My background

Soon after completing doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship, I co-founded with Dr. Bill Bracker, the Center for Personal Growth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a group practice that continues to thrive over the past 17 years. In 2005, my family made the move to The University of Virginia’s counseling center, to fulfill the role of Director of Training position. In that role, I have had the privilege of training nearly 100 doctoral trainees in psychology who practice and teach as Psychologists throughout the United States and Internationally. I have held the positions of Assistant, Associate and Interim Director of the counseling center over the years, with a focus on integrated healthcare, accessibility for traditionally underserved populations, and streamlining the functions of the organization to best serve the student population.

I remain actively engaged in issues of national and regional concern in the field of psychology, have authored a book entitled, “Choosing a Psychotherapist: A Guide to Navigating the Mental Health Maze,” and most recently a peer reviewed article in the APA Journal of Health Psychology, Utilization of primary care among college students with mental health disorders.” I am excited about an upcoming book chapter to be published on intersecting sexual and religious identities. I am committed to supporting clinicians serving the public with the highest degree of expertise, as a examination reviewer for licensed clinical psychologists pursuing the highest credentialing threshold in our field of Board Certified (ABPP) Psychologist, of which only 4% have achieved.

My philosophy

Whether engaged in online clinical consultation with licensed peers or online psychotherapy, I begin with the truth that we are are all doing the best we can. Sometimes, that “best” is working in all areas of our lives, and at other times, not so much. The striving to become our “selves at best” is an organic and natural drive, unless circumstances in childhood or adulthood require us to adapt in a less healthy environment. At certain times in our lives, circumstances make us feel like we are our “selves at worst,” either in our relationships or our jobs. I work with people in psychotherapy to identify the root causes blocking that natural and positive striving, through coordinated attunement with thoughts, feelings and visceral experiences, resulting in meaningful change.

Contact Dr. Zimmerman about the On Change blog and Alexa app or services provided

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