Paula N. Bloom, PsyD
I speak: English, Spanish
My gender: Female
Where I practice
As the child of immigrants, I have always been interested in how culture affects how we see the world and ourselves. I do not remember a time when I did not want to be a psychologist (well, except for when I took a six-month break to do interior design at a furniture store). Growing up in South Florida, I thought that summer was an all-year long season. When I moved to Atlanta, I experienced the beautiful fall colors for the first time. I was supposed to only be in Atlanta for a one-year internship (1999) and then met my husband. I have been here ever since. We started a family and now have two unicycling children, a Boxer and a rescued five-pound Chihuahua/Yorkie mix who thinks she is in charge (actually, she kind of is).
About my practice
When I finished my training, I realized that I had been taught a lot about mental illness and not enough about mental health. Since then, my focus has been on helping people find what gives them a sense of joy, connection and purpose. We all are unique, and my approach is not a one-size-fits all approach. Through figuring out what we are thinking, feeling and doing, we can each decide how we want to live. I believe that laughter can be powerful medicine.
While it is important to know yourself, action is what changes lives. We each have a toolbox of coping skills and we sometimes forget to use them. I like people to leave my office with practical tools they can use and a plan of action that we develop together. You are the expert on you - I just get the honor of playing a tiny part in your larger journey.
"We don't see things as they are, we seem them as we are." - Anais Nin
How I thrive
As an extrovert, I get a lot of energy from those around me. Working on a supportive, collaborative team keeps me inspired and motivated.
Staying connected to friends and family is a high priority in my life. I have been in the same women's book club for two decades (though calling it a book club might not be totally accurate since we often don't read the book). Spending time with my husband and kids keeps me grounded and balanced. Playing with my dogs is a fast way to let go of the day and laugh.
Nature comforts and grounds me. Water soothes me. Looking at tall trees always reminds me that having both roots and branches is important for living. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on my deck, drink tea and listen to the birds.
Walking through a big city and swimming in a pool or ocean are my favorite ways to move my body. I am a huge fan of musical theater as well.
Sometimes it is hard for helping professionals to follow their own advice. When I take the time to plan my meals, meditate, exercise, connect with others and just have fun, my life is more balanced, and balance is what helps me thrive.