My Education and Experience

I graduated magna cum laude with honors from Duke University (1978), earned my Masters degree from Vanderbilt University (1980), my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University (1982), and completed my internship at Vanderbilt Medical Center and The Veterans Administration Medical Center (1983). I have been married for 40 years, and my husband and I raised our daughter and two sons in Fairfax County.
DrJeanWard_resume.pdf View Résumé/CV

What were your inpatient and outpatient training placements during graduate school?

During graduate school at Vanderbilt, I worked in many supervised pre-doctoral practicum placements. I saw adolescents, adults, and families in outpatient services for one year at a community mental health center (Dede Wallace Center) in Nashville. I was chosen to be a Fellow at the Vanderbilt University Counseling Center where I conducted assessments and therapy with college students for one year. I worked with children and families for one year at the Vanderbilt University Hospital Pediatric Developmental Evaluation Center, and spent one summer working full-time with children, pre-teens, and families at The Virginia Treatment Center in Richmond. Another summer, I conducted psychological assessments with teenagers at The Tennessee Department of Corrections in Nashville. I was chosen to be a pre-doctoral Trainee at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital where I spent one year conducting psychological assessments, individual and group therapy on an inpatient psychiatric unit. I spent a second year working in the emergency room and inpatient unit at the Nashville VA Hospital during my Vanderbilt University Medical Center post-doctoral internship. I saw patients in the emergency room and inpatient units who were diagnosed with varying mental disorders including problems with substance abuse; schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; anxiety; and mood, somatoform, factitious, dissociative, sexual, gender identity, sleep, eating, impulse control ,adjustment and personality disorders.

What were your graduate school research and training experiences in the areas of addiction and impulse control?

Experiences in the treatment of alcohol abuse with adults at The Psychiatric Institute in Washington, D.C., and at the Butner Alcoholism Rehabilitation Center in NC contributed to my interest in addictions. Support from a national NIAAA grant to study alcoholism for my master's thesis and doctoral dissertation provided me with a great deal of knowledge about alcohol abuse and dependence. Public awareness of eating disorders was just emerging in the early 1980s; my research and clinical experience in the addictions area prompted me to become invested in the study and treatment of eating disorders. During my post-doctoral internship, I worked with many alcohol abusers on the inpatient units at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. In 1982, I was one of two guest speakers featured on a thirty minute "talk show" on CBS that focused on Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia; this launched a forty-year career in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders.

How much experience do you have working with students, clinicians, and administrators in Fairfax County?

After completing the postdoctoral internship at Vanderbilt and the Veterans Administration Medical Centers, I was hired as a staff psychologist for the residency year, and then promoted to director of The Adolescent Day Treatment Program at Northwest Center, a Community Mental Health Center. This program served students from schools throughout Fairfax County who needed specialized therapeutic and educational services that were not available in the base schools. My position as Program Director enabled me to connect with educators and guidance counselors throughout the county, and to gain in-depth knowledge of the educational and mental health resources in Fairfax County. I left the program in 1986 in order to pursue private practice on a full-time basis.

What awards or honors have you received recently?

I have worked with hundreds of children, pre-teens, adolescents, and adults in private practice over the past four decades, and was honored with the Washingtonian Magazine's Best Therapist award. Nearly eight hundred therapists identified specialists to whom they would send a family member. My peers recognized me as the one clinical psychologist practicing in northern Virginia whose services they would seek for a relative with an eating disorder. I am the only psychologist practicing in Virginia to be included in this category. I was also honored recently to be among four health care practitioners selected from a nation-wide pool of candidates to provide information on career opportunities at the Duke University Career Conference. This conference was attended by more than 1,000 students. I look forward to continuing to work with clients in order to identify the best paths to pursue when resolving problems, and making decisions about school, job, career and interpersonal relationships.