Dr. Madalina Ochenatu has a dual background in medicine and psychology, and she has worked in both fields as a clinician, researcher, and volunteer. She earned a Medical Doctor degree with a specialization in General Medicine from “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in her birth country, Romania. She continued with an internship and a residency in radiology at the University Hospital in Bucharest. During her medical training she realized that, even though life expectancy increased, many people live with chronic illness such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, and cancer, which exact an immense emotional toll on the individual and their loved ones, affecting their quality of life. She also recognized that, while we all have habituated stress, its impact on an individual’s physical and mental health as well as the impact of chronic illness are not properly addressed by the medical model alone.
Seeking a better understanding of the relationship between physical and psychological aspects of stress and chronic illness and to help affected individuals and their families improve their quality of life, she pursued a formal training in psychology and graduated with summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in her home state. During her training in psychology, she became very interested in and espoused the biopsychosocial approach to health and illness. This is because this model focuses on the link between biological, psychological, and social factors and on how these impact an individual’s ability to either manage, prevent, or decrease the impact of chronic illness. She also participated in research on depression and health related outcomes in two labs at UNCG and completed an undergraduate internship at UNCG Psychology clinic, gaining valuable knowledge and experience in conducting evidence-based psychotherapies for various mental health conditions and all age groups.
Pursuing further a specialization in psychiatric disability, Dr. Ochenatu became a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) scholar and graduated with High Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (CRMHC). Taking an interest in how coping styles and social support are linked to distress, depression, anxiety, subjective well-being, and quality of life in individuals with chronic heart disease, she researched and successfully defended her Master’s Thesis: “Ineffective Coping and Inadequate Social Supports as Risk Factors for Depression after Heart Transplant Surgery”.
Upon her graduation from the CRMHC program, Dr. Ochenatu has teamed up with her graduate practicum and internship supervisor, Dr. Lekisha Alesii, and started to work as a therapist at the Center for Health and Emotional Wellness, LLPC in Durham. In this practice, she has been serving clients with various metal health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, grief, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance use), chronic physical illnesses (e.g., chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes), and commonly encountered issues (e.g., life-work balance, relationships, health, and wellness). She has also conducted psychological assessments for individuals with disabilities and active duty members and veterans of the United States armed forces, applying for Social Security and/or Veterans Affairs benefits.
Given her previous education and training, Dr. Ochenatu recognizes how powerful and transformative holistic therapy can be for an individual who lives with chronic physical and/or mental illness. Her main theoretical orientation is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, however, to best meet the needs of her clients, she incorporates theoretical concepts and clinical techniques from other psychotherapeutic approaches. She is committed to work collaboratively with her clients in individual, family, or group settings towards promoting their emotional wellness, disease prevention, and adjustment to living with chronic or life-threatening illness by providing an individualized treatment and by enlisting the needed services in the field of clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling.
- Medical Doctor Degree, General Medicine Specialization, graduated from Carol Davila University and Medicine, Bucharest, Romania; gained clinical training and demonstrated ability in patients' care
- Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, graduated with summa cum laude from UNC-Greensboro, May 2016
- Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, Psychiatric Specialization, graduated with High Honors from UNC-Chapel Hill, May 2019
Licensure, Certifications, and Accreditations:
- Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) (No: A14885, valid 2020)
- Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) (No: 00387921; valid 2024)
- Paneled Healthcare Provider (in progress) to working with major insurance carriers through CAQH Solutions Proview (member ID#14420440)
- NPI Number- for Professional Counseling: 1619531092
Practicum and Internships in Psychology:
- Undergraduate Internship: UNCG Psychology Clinic
- Graduate Practicum and Internship: Center for Health and Emotional Wellness, PLLC
Research Experience in Psychology:
- Undergraduate: depression and anxiety - Gene Environment and Emotion (GEnE) lab at UNC-Greensboro
- Undergraduate: cognitive functioning - Adult Cognition lab at UNC-Greensboro
- Graduate: teens with chronic illness transitioning to adulthood - STARx lab at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Graduate Master’s Thesis: “Ineffective Coping and Inadequate Social Supports as Risk Factors for Depression after Heart Transplant Surgery” at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Continuing Education: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Tele Mental Health for online services
- Theoretical Orientation: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) integrated with complementary techniques from DBT, CPT, ACT, and Motivational Interviewing (MI) for an individualized treatment
- Clinical Professional Goal: to conduct psychological assessment and provide in person or online individual, family, or group therapy while assisting health care providers in helping individuals and their families to better manage chronic physical and mental illness and live healthier lives
Target Client Population:
- adults with depression, anxiety (e.g., social anxiety, generalized anxiety, specific phobias), adjustment disorder, grief, emotional trauma, PTSD, behavioral problems, eating disorders, and dual disorders
- adults with chronic illness (e.g., heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, traumatic brain injury, morbid obesity, chronic pain) causing physical or mental disabilities
- adults seeking to better manage stress, avoid burnout, and achieve life-work balance
- Currently, she accepts new clients for individual, family, or group therapy (groups for: treating social anxiety disorder, bariatric surgery clients, chronic pain management), and rehabilitation counseling services, on site or on-line via HIPAA compliant website
- Cost per Session: $150 ($200 for intake)
- Sliding Scale: Yes
- Pay By: American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, Health Savings Account, Check
- Will Accept Insurance Plans (Aetna, BCBS of NC, CIGNA, Humana, Triwest, UnitedHealthcare/Optum, Beacon, HealthAdvocate, and Sand Creek) - Soon!
- Psychology Today Profile: https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/463136
- Phone: 919-589-3550
- Fax: 1-888-819-6694
- Email: [email protected]