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. Charla Jones is board certified adult psychiatrist with more than 12 years of experience and a special interest in women’s health. Dr. Jones attended the University of Dayton as an undergraduate, followed by the University of Cincinnati for medical school and residency training. Upon completion of her residency, she completed a two-year advanced psychotherapy training program through the Cincinnati Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Dr. Jones has worked in a myriad of clinical settings including adult inpatient, psychiatric emergency room, and private practice. She has spent most of her career treating patients in outpatient settings for healthcare organizations including St. Elizabeth Physicians, Novant Health and TriHealth. Prior to joining the team at Galia Collaborative, she worked in a primary care setting working collaboratively with primary care physicians to support the whole-self of patients. Dr. Jones treats a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

I believe..

  • A physician's job is not to judge patients, but to listen empathically and strive to understand.
  • At any given moment, we are each doing the very best that we can.
  • You can give something 110% and still not get the outcome you want or expected.
  • A successful relationship between a doctor and a patient requires mutual respect, trust, and honesty.
  • Walking away from a bad situation isn't a failure; it's being brave.
  • Sharing struggles and imperfections leads to more authentic relationships with others.
  • Life is too short not to make time for fun.

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