Beth Anne-Blue, Ph.D., joined the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health as assistant director of the Duke Personal Assistance Service (PAS) in August. Blue received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
Where were you practicing/working previous to Duke? What was your role there?
I was at the University of Florida as a Senior Clinician at the Employee Assistance Program from 2015 to 2019. I was seeing employees and couples for counseling under the 6-visit model that EAP at UF had. I was also involved in a Resiliency Curriculum for the Internal Medicine Residents at the University of Florida. I gave quarterly presentations (“Morning Reports”) to residents on resiliency as well as having them visit the EAP office to learn where we were located and to learn more about our services. Additionally, I was the clinical supervisor to a psychiatry medical resident for one year, advising her on the few clients she saw for therapy, as well as medication. I was also involved in critical incident responses to campus tragedies; as well as present at orientation/informational sessions and giving presentations about EAP’s services. I also did quite a bit of consulting with managers and human resources about handling mental health issues their departments and/or staff were dealing with. I was also involved in the Behavioral Consultation Team, which brought leaders of the UF community together once a week to discuss troubled students and staff.
Any other educational or research background information you want to share?
I am also a professional writer (fiction and nonfiction) and am pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) at National University in Los Angeles in Screenwriting. I had a play, Do You See Me?, that I had written, selected and produced at a community play house (Acrosstown Repertory Theatre) while living in Gainesville, Fla., in 2016. I also wrote, produced and directed a film in 2008 (When No One is Watching) that premiered at another local theatre in Gainesville (The Hippodrome). Additionally, I consulted with staff and actors at the Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville and was a part of “table-reads” of pieces that involved psychologically complex characters the actors were playing, and what that might look like on stage as a production.
Why did you choose to join Duke Family Medicine & Community Health?
After 17 years in Gainesville, Fla., and 14 years at the University of Florida, it was time for some growth professionally and personally and what better place to do that than at Duke University, as the assistant director of the Personal Assistance Service program (akin to an Employee Assistance Program). I am impressed with the PAS staff daily, with the breadth of their knowledge and skills, as well as their commitment to Duke Health and the well-being of its employees.
What is your clinical focus/what types of patients will you be taking care of at Duke? At what clinic/locations will you be working?
I was trained as a cognitive/behavioral psychologist; but have always been an interpersonally-driven therapist. I practice at the PAS’s main location at 2200 West Main Street in Erwin Square Tower. I specialize in working with trauma, anxiety disorders (eg, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder), mood disorders (eg, depression, bipolar disorders), eating disorders and crisis management.
What is your approach to clinical care?
I believe I am a conduit for others, some of whom who may need a little more pushing in the right direction than others, for clients to understand, view and solve their own problems without getting in their own way. I also like to practice in a multi-disciplinary environment, meaning that education, therapy, physical health, spiritual health and overall self-care are all part of an ideal treatment approach.
Are there any major clinical care initiatives you have been a part of or are currently working on?
Between 2002 and 2010 I was the coordinator for the Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery & Education outreach program at the University of Florida while I was part of Student Mental Health Services counseling students. I made some significant programmatic changes to the program, eg., was able to involve the Athletic Association in our efforts and educate the athletes about sexual assault and high-risk drinking; coordinate a popular 5K run in honor of the traditional “Take Back the Night” to bring more attention to honoring victims of sexual assault as opposed to a less-attended candlelight vigil. This was all at the University of Florida and all while I was counseling students and doing EAP counseling over my lunch hour, as it was not its own fully developed program at UF at that time.
Is there any other information you would like to share?
I am originally from Columbus, Ohio, born and raised. I have lived in multiple states, as well as abroad, with clinical psychology being the common thread. I have been a licensed psychologist in Ohio, Florida and, hopefully soon, North Carolina. I met and married my husband in Gainesville, Fla. We currently reside in Durham with a writing table close by wherever I go. My husband is an architect and stays busy with his clients, mostly still in Florida but hoping to move his independent business to North Carolina soon. We share our home with our rescued Standard Poodle, Paisley, who is very smart and patient with us, her parents, as we catch on to things a bit later and slower than she does!