Meet Dr. Hyehyun Paek: Psychiatrist in Montreal

Honouring yourself and what drives you.

Meet Dr.Hyehyun Paek, Psychiatrist for Numinus in Montreal! We recently sat down with Dr.Paek and discuss her role at Numinus, her tips for self-care, and her love for the mission at Numinus. 

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What brought you to Numinus?

I stumbled upon Numinus serendipitously when I started my psychiatry practice out of Mindspace in Montreal. Soon after, Numinus began their psychedelics-assisted program here. I was impressed by the dedication to advance this field and all the different facets of Numinus such as research, training and client-oriented services. Most importantly, I truly felt that Numinus was doing it right by respecting and honouring the history and origins of psychedelics and plant medicines, which stems back to Indigenous roots.

 

Could you describe your role in 1-2 sentences?

I screen potential clients to see if they are eligible for psychedelics-assisted therapy by performing a clinical interview and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions. I try to capture a glimpse of each client’s history, personality, coping styles, life experiences, influences, strengths and their motivation during these assessments.

 

How do you act in service to yourself to make your mental health a priority?

- I actively prioritize my mental health - active, being the key word. I check in with myself regularly and engage in practices that recharge my battery like yoga, meditating, listening to music, journaling, walks in nature, pleasure reading and scheduling alone time.

- I try to set healthy limits and say ‘no’ as often as I can. Instead of feeling guilty when I say no, I try to celebrate it. It’s hard but it’s very important because if I’m not well, I cannot help others be well either.

- When I notice that I’m not doing well, I seek out help from friends or other professionals.

 

What do you love about Numinus?

I love being part of a big team whose values align with my own. We share a common goal and I feel that we are all in this for genuine reasons - because we really believe that what we do can truly help. We are all unique and have different approaches but I love that we can always come to an understanding and have respect for each other.

 

What inspires you the most about the field of psychedelics and mental health?

I am most inspired by the anecdotal stories of people whose lives have been changed by psychedelics. When I first learned about psychedelics in this context, I felt a deep sense of knowing that this was truly transformative. Hearing others share their journey of healing motivates me to expand on this work. Additionally, I am inspired by all healers and practitioners that have courageously advocated for the use of psychedelics in mental healthcare.

 

What has been the most transformative experience in your career so far?

Reconnecting with my spirituality has opened so many doors and possibilities for me in my career. Through this, I discovered that emotions live in the body and this re-shaped my entire conceptualization of mental illness. When emotions are not overwhelming, we can see that our bodies also hold inner wisdom that knows how to heal itself. From this understanding, I now have the tools to work with individuals, no matter how complex their story may be.

 

What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in your field?

I am still new to psychiatry so this is a hard question to answer. But I was given advice early in my career that has stuck with me. I was told ‘Don’t take risks with your career, play it safe. Don’t be a pioneer’. I remember my body going completely cold when I heard this because it was like being told to ignore my authentic nature. So my advice would be: When it comes to patient safety, always err on the side of caution. As for the rest, follow your intuition, no matter what others say.

How to Get the Most From Your Telepsych Visit

By Mallory Danielson M.P.H., PA-C

Communication over video has become the preferred method of many patients and providers given the situation with COIVD-19. Cedar Psychiatry does have video visits, or Telepsych as we like to call it, available to any patient doing a follow-up or intake visit.

HOW TO UTILIZE TELEPSYCH

  1. Make an appointment, let the staff know you’d like to have this visit be a Telepsych visit.

  2. Before your appointment please go to Cedar Psychiatry’s website (https://www.cedarpsychiatry.com/telepsychiatry) to find your provider’s individualized digital waiting room.

  3. This will take you to doxy.me, a HIPAA compliant, secure website that hosts our video chats

  4. You don’t need to make a log-in, just follow the prompts to let your provider know you’re there

  5. Once they’re ready, your provider will initiate the video chat.

HOW TO MAKE TELEPSYCH THE MOST EFFECTIVE

Most of us have used Google Hangouts or Facetime before but have never used it in a professional setting. To have your Telepsych visits be as effective, personable, and useful as your in-person visits we have a few tips:

1. SHOW UP EARLY

Head to your provider’s digital waiting room 5-10 minutes early to take advantage of doxy.me’s “Pre-call Test”. This will ensure your internet, camera, and microphone are working.

2. FRAME YOUR FACE

It’s hard to do a Telepsych visit when the other person is just a dark shadow or the camera is looking directly up their nose! Try to set up or hold your camera so it is still, so you can see your whole face, and try to have a light shining on your face so you can be seen.

3. CALL FROM A PRIVATE PLACE

Talking about your mental health can be difficult and personal. Make it a little easier by calling from a private place without interruptions. Try calling from a room with the door closed or even your parked car.

4. CALL FROM A QUIET PLACE

Having conversations in the background, the radio going, or other noises can detract from your conversation with your provider. Remember that this appointment is important to your mental health, take it seriously, and keep background noises to a minimum. Use headphones to reduce feedback.

5. BE ENGAGED

Video makes it easy to get distracted and forget proper conversation etiquette. Do your best to keep eye contact by looking into the lens of your camera. Stay still, don’t walk around, or do something else during your appointment. Remember, this is still your visit, respect your time and the time of your provider by making the most of this video call.

Reid Robison, MD named “Best Psychiatrist in Utah 2020”

Our founder & supervising Psychiatrist, Dr. Reid Robison, was just voted “Best Psychiatrist in Utah” in the Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Body & Mind 2020 Issue.

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Best Psychiatrist

REID ROBISON, MD

Born in Chicago, Reid Robison grew up in Toronto, Canada. He attended BYU where he earned a degree in neuroscience and went to the University of Utah where he received his MD and MBA degrees. As the medical director for Center for Change, he oversees acute inpatient care, residential care, day treatment, independent living and outpatient care for adolescents and adults who struggle with eating disorders, helping them live full lives after conquering anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Article on Mindfulness

The cover story of the February issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry is about Mindfulness.