Q&A with Dr. Laura Riss, PsyD

We are continuing our ‘Our Psychologists’ Series with Dr. Laura Riss! Dr. Laura Riss is one of our psychologists at Best Within You with over 15 years of experience as a Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Riss has worked in a wide range of settings and provides training and supervising to behavioral health clinicians. 

What is your Role at Best Within You?

I am a Clinical Psychologist at Best Within You!

What is your therapeutic approach?

I was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and my Master’s was very heavy on Psychodynamic theory. I also find existential and humanistic methodologies very interesting. On top of these, I love to use mindfulness, art therapies, and mind-body approaches. With trauma work especially, I use attachment work and the internal-family systems approach. 

While talk therapy is very beneficial, there is something about the bottom-up (experiential) approaches that are extremely rewarding and complimentary to the top-down (talking/cognitive)  processing approaches. 

What are your specialties/areas of experience?  

Some specialties of mine include Eating Disorders, Trauma, Depression, and Anxiety. I love working with College Students and LGBTQIA+ populations. I have always been interested in Gender Studies and Women’s issues in general. 

Why did you decide to become a psychologist?

I remember in sixth grade when my teacher asked us to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up… and even in sixth grade, I knew I wanted to be a Psychologist. I have never wanted to do anything else! I have always been interested in mental health and wanted to be able to have a career that was focused on helping others. 

Can you explain your undergraduate experience? Graduate Experience? Clinical Experience?

I always knew I was interested in Psychology. I completed my undergraduate career at Purdue University where I studied Psychology. I then completed my Master’s at New York University (NYU). After completing my Master’s I wanted to receive my Doctorate of Psychology and focus on Clinical Work, so I studied at Nova Southeastern University where I was able to work with faculty with my research interests. At Nova, I completed my first practicum in family violence and second practicum in a counseling center working with a college population.

I am in charge of the eating disorder team for The Southeast Permanente Medical Group and was in private practice in Athens for several years prior to that specializing in eating disorders and trauma work.

What are some of your professional accomplishments?

I participated in the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) conference Annual Body Image Mannequin Art Competition and Awareness Project for many years. Our mannequins placed each time, including a first-place win! I loved being able to help women with binge eating disorders and women ages 40+ find their voices and find ways to express themselves through art.  

What are you most passionate about?  

I am very passionate about helping others, mindfulness, and creative outlets. I also am very passionate about energy work and am trained in Reiki. 

What do you like to do outside of the workplace?

I love kittens and art! I also enjoy jewelry making, coloring, and just crafting in general. Recently I got back into ballroom dancing and have been loving it!

What would you say to a potential client/individual that is considering therapy?

I would say get the support you need and deserve! I would also say to interview your therapists to make sure they are a good fit for you. It is important to take care of yourself: self-care is not selfish it is self-preservation. Mental health care is essential. 

Therapy with Dr. Riss

Thank You to Dr. Laura Riss for this amazing Q&A. Dr. Laura Riss specializes in eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, relationships, and LGBTQIA+ areas. If you are looking for therapy and think you may benefit from Dr. Riss’s services at Best Within You, you can schedule a free consultation!