Expert Profile - Anna Yusim
Dr. Anna Yusim
MD, Integrative Psychiatrist
Clinical Faculty at Yale Medical School
Best Selling Author of Fullfilled (Voted as one of the top 23 Life-Changing Books by Forbes).
Has Published Over 150 Articles on the Intersection of mental Health, Medicine, & Spirituality
Frequent Guest on CNN, Fox News, ABC, & Other News Outlets. Has Appeared on Hundreds of National & International TV Shows, Radio Programs, & Podcasts.
Presently Creating the World’s First Spirituality & Mental Health Center at Yale
Dr. Anna Yusim’s Bio:
Dr. Anna Yusim is an internationally recognized, award-winning, Stanford- and Yale-educated Board Certified Psychiatrist and Executive Coach. With clients including Forbes 500 CEOs, Olympic athletes, A-list actors and actresses, and the Chairs of academic departments at top universities, Dr. Anna Yusim has helped over 1500 people in 60 countries achieve greater impact, purpose, and joy in their life and work.
Dr. Yusim believes every person is unique and therefore needs an individually-tailored coaching approach. The philosophy of Yusim Executive Coaching entails optimizing workplace performance by enabling executives to achieve their highest level of psychological, emotional & mental well-being. What is holding you back from being your best self? Who would you be without fear? How can you enhance value and productivity with less effort? Having worked for 15 years as one of Manhattan’s top psychiatrists, Dr. Yusim brings her psychological training to the table to help her executives gain greater self-awareness, tap into their potential, broaden their leadership skills and significantly increase the impact and value they bring to their organization. An empathic & action-oriented approach enables Dr. Yusim’s clients to make real and lasting changes in their personal and professional lives.
On the Clinical Faculty at Yale Medical School, Dr. Yusim is the best-selling author of Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life. Her book was voted as one of the top 23 Life-Changing Books by Forbes. Dr. Yusim is presently creating the world’s first Spirituality and Mental Health Center at Yale. In 2020, Dr. Yusim received the top honor granted to an American psychiatrist, being named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Yusim has published over 150 articles on the intersection of mental health, medicine, and spirituality. She is a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News, ABC, and other news outlets, and has appeared on hundreds of national and international TV shows, radio programs, and podcasts.
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to pursue a career in Psychiatry?
My desire to pursue a career in psychiatry was inspired by the books of Dr. Irvin Yalom. I first picked up a copy of his book in my friend’s room at Stanford University, when I was a junior in college there. Dr. Yalom is an existential psychiatrist who so beautifully encapsulates the struggles of human beings to create meaning in suffering and figure out the most effective way to balance freedom and responsibility. Deeply moved by Dr. Yalom’s description of his powerful work with patients, I decided then that I wanted to be like him when I grew up: a psychiatrist and an author. As an empath and particularly sensitive soul myself, I feel the pain of others deeply and struggle with occasional low-grade depression and anxiety.
My personal struggle has been the driving force in seeking increasingly more powerful healing methods to enable myself and my patients to liberate ourselves from the pain and suffering that life can bring. This journey proceeded through a long and winding road: soul searching at ashrams in India, learning Buddhist meditation in Thailand, spiritual pilgrimages to Israel, working with shamans and healers in South America, and ultimately, finding my way back to New York to start therapy with a new psychiatrist who would become an important mentor in my life and remains so to the present day
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? How, if at all did those events impact the way you view how our current system teaches us to treat patients with mental health challenges?
When and why did you decide to actually focus on practicing Integrative Psychotherapy, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
If anybody had told me twenty years ago that I would one day be a “spiritual” person, I would have laughed. But life took me in an unanticipated direction through a series of magic and miracles that ultimately led to the writing of my book, Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Lead a Happier, More Meaningful Life.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
In my practice, I do therapy with all of my patients — a combination of existential, psychodynamic, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and spiritual therapy. When medically indicated, I prescribe psychiatric medication when desired by the patient. I also utilize many supplements and help my patients to optimize their diet, exercise, and sleep regimen. I also use various other psychological and spiritual modalities, including yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, dreamwork, nature therapy, and many others.
How did people react when you share this Integrative/Holistic approach with them – whether it be patients or other doctors?
Patients and other physicians are generally very open and receptive to a spiritual/holistic/integrative approach and will seek me out specifically because I have this unique approach.