Dr. Jessica interviewed Brittany Ferri, a certified psychiatric rehab provider.
Could you please explain a bit more about what it means to be a certified psychiatric rehab provider?
As a certified psychiatric rehab provider, I am one of many professionals from a range of disciplines who have experience and education in treating those with psychiatric symptoms. This experience includes patients who have diagnoses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, Autism, dementia, and more.
What inspired you to choose this career path?
I initially entered college with the intention of going to med school. However, the courses I took in my first two years were not of interest to me, and I quickly realized I would not like another 8+ years of a similar curriculum. I had always been interested in health professions, so I explored other options at my school and that is when I discovered occupational therapy (OT). OT resonated with me from the first time I learned about the field and its emphasis on treating the mind and body in tandem. This aspect of OT really sets it apart from other health professions, and I instantly knew I wanted to be part of it.
How would you say your approach differs from therapists?
Due to my experience working as an OT in mental health, I feel that this gives me valuable insight into the workings of the mind and how to best promote success and engagement despite symptoms like anxiety, depression, anger, impulsivity, poor judgment, and more. No matter the practice setting I work in, I will always bring my roots as a psychiatric rehab provider to instill these skills in all the patients I treat. My background as a Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Mental Health also allows me to use holistic modalities that address the root cause of an individual’s functional deficits.
How has your work been impacted by COVID-19? How have your patients been impacted?
The only “clinical” work I have been doing over the past year and a half is via teletherapy, so COVID has not impacted my day-to-day all that much. However, the bulk of my patients are kids so their routines have certainly been disrupted as a result of COVID. I am getting many more parent reports of behavioral concerns at home and personally seeing a lot of attention deficits during sessions since kids have had significantly more screen time in the past few months. While this has made therapy a bit more trying, I have to look at it from the lens of occupational balance. It is in these exact situations that occupational therapists are needed to help people establish or reinstate a balance between all of the aspects of their lives.
Many Honeybee Health patients have chronic conditions. In what ways might your work and service be of benefit to them?
Occupational therapists are highly skilled in working with people who have chronic conditions. We can help patients develop healthy habits to manage their condition, including symptoms, medications, daily self-care activities (dressing, grooming, eating, bathing, and using the bathroom), and more complex daily activities such as driving, budgeting, caregiving, and managing their household.
One of the strong suits of occupational therapy is our expertise in task analysis. We look at any task that someone is struggling to complete (ranging from leisure to work to school to caring for themselves) and break it down in a way that ensures a successful relationship between the environment, the person’s abilities, and the components of the task.
My expertise is health education (providing clear, concise, and actionable health-related information) that patients can use to establish independence in managing their condition and preventing further complications from arising.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If you are interested in learning more about my business, please visit http://www.simplicityofhealth.com
I do treat patients privately (no insurance accepted) and you can reach out to me through my website to set up a free intro consultation!
Brittany is a licensed and registered occupational therapist and certified psychiatric rehab provider who has training as an anxiety specialist, health educator, and trauma provider. She has been quoted as a health expert in numerous publications, including NBC News, MyFitnessPal, Healthline, Woman’s Day, Parade Magazine, and Care.com. She is the author of two therapy textbooks and an Amazon children’s book called “Why is there a person in my computer?” that teaches kids about teletherapy. In addition to being a Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Mental Health and an adjunct professor at Nazareth College, she has presented over 20 guest lectures at universities across the nation. She is also the founder of Simplicity of Health, LLC.