behavioral therapy and that ’ s a big part of my daily interactions .”
In those interactions , she always wants to make sure that she is providing evidence-based , ethical , compassionate care and that she is present in the moment for her patients . She cherishes time with them and appreciates that they allow her into their lives .
“ I ’ m humbled by the fact that people are willing to share their stories . It ’ s hard but so important to bear witness to and sit with someone ’ s pain . I think that ’ s important work , and sometimes the hardest work . As a psychiatrist , we encourage our patients to engage in healthy patterns and care , and when you watch someone who follows through and perceives benefit and makes a difference in their own life , that ’ s gratifying .”
Balancing being present in her work life also translates to her home life . She makes sure to make time specifically for her 9-yearold son Patrick as they cook dinner and eat together and read before bed every night .
“ I ’ m smiling but you can ’ t see that through the phone . He brings me so much joy . I always say it ’ s funny that he has a mom who ’ s a psychiatrist , caring for people , and a dad that ’ s a zookeeper , caring for animals ,” she said , laughing . “ Having a child has taught me so much as a human and that ’ s been its own educational journey for me .”
Prior to the start of the pandemic , Dr . Hettinger and her son would attend taekwondo together four to five nights a week . “ That was something interesting to start later in life and I very much