In the movies, psychiatrists are often asking their patients about their earliest childhood memories. I've recognized, however, that our lives begin to take their shape long before we can recall our own memories.
Growing up in a suburban coastal town in Southern California, I was always curious about how I had come to be with my family. I always knew that my engineer father and stay-at-home mother had adopted me as a baby, just as they had my brother.
As a pre-teen, my father shared with me a letter from the state of California that told me that about my 16- and 17-year-old parents who made the decision to place me for adoption. I felt incredibly grateful that my biological parents had made the sacrifice at such a young age, and that they cared enough for my well-being to allow my adoptive parents to raise and nurture me.
My parents were so proud of me when I matriculated into medical school. I had been married for one year at the time and my then husband entered medical school with me. We were a dynamic duo, bound together by our shared vision of becoming physicians.
I knew that my adoptive parents had struggled with infertility, so I did not want to wait long before starting my own family. My oldest daughter was born in our third year of medical school, our second during our fourth year, and our son during my third year of residency. These were challenging years, to say the least. But raising my three children is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Being a parent made me a better psychiatrist. Of course, there were times when I was in public with my children that I would think to myself, “I am really glad that no one here knows what I do for a living!"
My marriage later ended when he and I no longer shared the same goals. I also faced a battle myself with cancer, and additionally lost both of my parents. These were extraordinarily difficult times.
I believe that my life experiences have made me stronger, more knowledgeable as well as more empathic. I hope it helps you to know some of the challenges that I have faced. I very much look forward to helping support you through yours. I believe we can do hard things.
Dr. Carol Engel is a board-certified psychiatrist and child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr. Engel completed medical school at the University of California, Davis. She came to Ohio from her home state of California to enter a five-year Triple Board residency program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the University of Cincinnati. The Triple Board program is a unique combined medical training in Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Pediatrics. In 2002 after completing her residency program she joined the UC faculty at Children’s where she cared for youth of all ages as well as young adults.
Dr. Engel specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults with co-morbid mental health conditions, as well as eating disorders. She cared for patients in intensive inpatient, day treatment and outpatient settings at Children’s Hospital, eventually becoming a UC associate professor of psychiatry. Dr. Engel was involved in education as the director of the Triple Board training program for more than ten years. She taught psychiatric management skills to Pediatric residents and Adolescent Medicine fellows as well as more advanced psychiatric care to residents and fellows in the Triple Board and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training programs.
Through her involvement with the Adolescent Medicine department of Cincinnati Children’s Dr. Engel became co-director of the Eating Disorder program. In addition she provided mental health care for many patients seen in the specialized Transgender Clinic. Through her experience in this clinic she gained a knowledge base and sensitivity in providing mental health treatment for LGBT individuals.
After nearly 18 years on the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s, Dr. Engel decided to make a move to a less corporate practice and joined Galia Collaborative. She is committed to providing sensitive, quality, evidence-based, individualized medical and mental health care.
- I believe pets make people happier.
- I believe in listening in an effort to understand another’s perspective.
- I believe in speaking up for oneself and for others.
- I believe in doing the right thing.
- I believe there is no such thing as perfect.
- I believe in openness and honesty.
- I believe in using knowledge, reason and common sense to guide our actions.
- I believe that earbuds are the bane of all humanity.
- I believe movement is part of a healthy, joyful life and that fitness can be fun.
- I believe comparison is the thief of happiness.
- I believe changing your negative beliefs will really make a difference in your life.
- I believe that regrets are better than “what ifs.”
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