Start the journey now.The best is yet to come.
Woman Standing on Dock
Woman Standing on Docks

Dr. Katherine Best, Founder






Katherine Ann Best, Ph.D., LCSW is Founder of the Institute, a licensed psychotherapist, as well as former professor and researcher at the Universtity of South Florida. She specializes in individual therapy, trauma resolution, performance coaching, depression and anxiety, family therapy, relationships, mediation, pain management, substance abuse, and clinical hypnosis. Dr. Best brings a high level of expertise to her clinical practice with multiple certifications in Violence and Injury Prevention and Intervention, Evaluation and Accountability, Personal coaching, Dream Pattern Analysis, and Clinical Hypnosis. Her clinical expertise includes both residential and outpatient treatment settings. With experience in the field of substance abuse treatment, domestic violence issues, and life transitions.

With twenty five years of experience as an international teacher and coach she is a sought after speaker and group leader. She frequently presents at international conferences, including the American Psychological Association and the American Public Health Association Conferences.

Licenses & Certifications:

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Florida Lic #7395
Supreme Court Family Mediator, Florida #20321F
Certification in Personal & Executive Coaching: National Institute of the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
Certification in Evaluation, Planning and Accountability: University of South Florida
Certification in Violence and Injury: Prevention and Intervention: University of South Florida
Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy: University of South Florida
Certification in Clinical Hypnosis: National Institute of the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine; National Guild of Hypnotists (since 1994).
Certification in Dream Pattern Analysis: Assisi Institute


Academic Positions:

Adjunct Professor - School of Social Work, University of South Florida 2004- 2009
Multi-Methods of Social Work Practice II: Macro Methods of Intervention (SOW 4343)
Integrative Seminar (SOW 4510)
Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (SOW 3102)
Field Instruction, Sequence II (SOW 6535)
Human Behavior and the Social Environment (SOW 3101)

Research Assistant - The Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence (2008-2009).
Dept. of Mental Health Law & Policy and Dept. of Child and Family Studies, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida n 2001- 2008.
Duties: implementation and analyses of qualitative and quantitative evaluations; conducting focus groups, key stakeholder interviews; writing statistical and policy reports.

Instructor - College of Public Health University of South Florida, 2004- 2008.
Stress, Health, and College Life (HSC 4542)
Introduction to Public Health (PHC)
Survey of Human Disease (HSC 4554) 2004
Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health, Web-Based Course (PHC 6410) 2003- 2004.


 

Psychotherapist-Coach/Owner Encouragement Institute. 2004- present. Dedicated to helping others reach their potential through strategies based upon a synthesis of theory, research, practicable application, and experience.

Research Assistant - Coastal Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. 2002- 2004.
Duties include research development, data collection, outcome measurement, and implementation of internal evaluation protocols for sustainability.

Medical Clinical Social Work Intern - Sarasota Memorial Hospital 2000- 2001. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics, Mother Baby, and Antepartum Units. Primary duties included clinical case management, research activities, and supportive counseling.

Therapist/Counselor - First Step Substance Abuse Agency 1997- 2004. Responsibilities included assessments, individual, family, therapy as well as group counseling for chemical dependency, substance abuse, anger management.

Supervisor - Coastal Recovery: Kingsley Residential Treatment Center 1997. Served as supervisor for an all female juvenile offender, Level 8 facility.

Facilitator - Juvenile Justice/Juvenile Services Program 1996- 1997
Instrumental in establishing the YES (Youth Education for Shoplifters) facilitating a psycho-educational group for juvenile offenders.

Owner/President - Power & Grace Inc. 1989- 1997. Training and rehabilitation of dancers and athletes.

Booker Visual Performing Arts High School 1995- 1998 Served as an adjunct teacher in the visual performing arts department; responsibilities included developing syllabus, directing and choreography, teaching classical ballet, and yoga.

Florida Ballet Arts Company and School 1985- 1990. Directing and choreography, teaching ballet, jazz, and repertoire classes


Scientific Books & Book Chapters


Best, K.A. (2010). Cumulative Exposures of Adverse Experiences on Depression and Suicide Ideation in a Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Girls: Victimization, Community Violence, and Household Dysfunction. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany.

Boothroyd, R. A., Stiles, P.,Best, K. A. (2008). The Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Children in International Settings . In L.Liebenberg and M. Ungar (eds). Researching Resilience. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto.

Boothroyd, R. A., & Best, K. A. (2004). Social and Ethical Issues in Testing and Research, Part I: Testing Ethics. In Ethical issues in rehabilitation counseling, Vol 4, Lesson 4, (pp. 31-41). Long Island, NY: The Hatherleigh Company, Ltd.

Boothroyd, R. A., & Best, K. A. (2004). Social and Ethical Issues in Testing and Research, Part II: Research Ethics. In Ethical issues in rehabilitation counseling. Vol 4, Lesson 5, (pp. 43-57). Long Island, NY: The Hatherleigh Company, Ltd.

Friedman R.M., Best, K. A., Armstrong M.I., Duchnowski A.J., Evans M.E., Hernandez M., Hodges, S., & Kutash K.B. (2004).Child Mental Health Policy. In: B. L. Levin, J. Petrila, & K. Hennessy (eds). Mental health services: A public health perspective, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

                     


Scientific Publications & Reports

Boothroyd, R. A., Armstrong, M. I., Gsmez, A. Ort, R., Chen, R., Best, K. A., & Haynes, D. (2005). The Changing Well-being of Adolescent Girls Raised in Families Receiving Welfare. Policy Brief. Policy Brief #10, Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.

Boothroyd, R. A., Armstrong, M. I., Gsmez, A. Ort, R., Chen, R., Best, K. A., & Haynes, D., (2005, June). Welfare reform: Adolescents girls in transition A three year follow-up study, Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute.

Boothroyd, R. A., Best, K. A Giard, J., Stiles, P. G., & Suleski, J. (2005). Poor and Depressed, The Tip of the Iceberg:The Unmet Needs of Enrollees in an Indigent Health Care Plan. Mental Health Services Research.

Best, K.A., Armstrong, M.I., Boothroyd, R.A., Gomez, A., Haynes, D., Ort, R. Rethinking Female Adolescent Depression. Conference Proceedings for The 17th Annual Research Conference A System of Care for Children s Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base (2005) Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.

Best, K. A., Giard, J., Boothroyd, R. A., & Stiles, P. (2004. Ethical Challenges in the Face of a Targeted Threat. Psychiatric Services, 55, (12), 1444. Online at: http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/55/12/1444

Boothroyd, R. A., Armstrong, M. I., Gsmez, A. Haynes, D., Ort, R., Chen, R., & Best, K. A. (2004, June). Welfare reform: Adolescents girls in transition, A two year follow-up study, Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute.
Online at:
2004-boothroyd%20_Transition%203-25-05.pdf

Zarzecki, J., Best, K. A., & Hughes, D. The relationship of trauma exposure and presenting symptomatology. Conference proceedings for the 16th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children's Mental Health. (2004, February). Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.

Best, K. A., & Boothroyd, R. A. "Children and Mother's Reactions as Research Participants." Building on Family Strengths: Research and Programs in Support of Children and Their Families 2003 Conference Proceedings (June 26 to June 28, 2003). Portland, OR: Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children s Mental Health, Portland State University.

Boothroyd, R.A., & Best, K. A. (2003). Emotional reactions to research participation and the relationship to understanding of informed consent. Social Work Research Vol 27 (4), 242-251.

Giard, J., Best, K.A., Boothroyd, R.A., & Suleski, J. The voice of Hillsborough County Health Care Plan enrollees. Policy Brief #3, Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.

Best, K. A., & Boothroyd, R. A. The rates of unmet needs among Hillsborough County Health Care Plan enrollees with a and without depression. Policy Brief #4, Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida.

Friedman, R., Jetson, J., Lipien, L., Best, K., Perrin, K., Yampolskaya, S, Silver, S., Douglas, L., Street, S., & Clayton, O. (Spring 2003). Early Adolescence Project: Early Adolescence Resilience Survey Pilot Study Results. Final Report for the City of St. Petersburg Recreation Department, R-Club Child Care, Inc., YMCA of the Suncoast. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Collaborative for Children, Families, and Communities and the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Florida.

Best, K. A., & Boothroyd, R. Maternal behavior and biological influences on birth outcomes: Implications for children's mental health. Conference proceedings for the 15th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children s Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base Tampa, FL: University of South Florida. (2002, March).

Best, K. A., Friedman, R., Jetson, J., & Gaunt, B. An assessment of the needs of young adolescents utilizing a resilience framework. Conference proceedings for the15th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children's Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base Tampa, FL: University of South Florida. (2002, March).


 

Invited Presentations

Best, K.A. The Cumulative Effects of Victimization, Community Violence, and Household Dysfunction on Health and Mental Health Outcomes. Presentation for Argosy University. The 6th Annual Symposium on Dynamic Approaches to Crisis and Trauma Interventions. Sarasota, FL. (February 25, 2010).

Best, K.A.  Cumulative Impact of Traumatic Exposures for Victims of Domestic and Intrusive Violence. Tidewell, Hospice. Sarasota, FL. (September 15, 2009).

Best, K.A. &
Gonzalez, Y. Social & Emotional Integrity: Making choices using conflict resolution strategies . St. Stephens School, Bradenton, FL. Presentation for parents, staff, and students. (October 25, 2007).

 
Best, K.A. An Overview of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Studies. Child Protective Team and the Children’s Medical Services. Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. (October 2, 2007).

Best, K.A. &La Grand, L. Encouraging Resilience in the Face of Death. Tidewell, Hospice. Sarasota, FL. (September 25, 2007).Best, K.A. Assessing Risk and Protective Factors for Domestic Violence across the Lifespan. Invited Presentation for Sarasota Memorial Hospital: Physicians, Nursing and Social Work Staff. Sarasota, Florida. (August 19, 2005).

Best, K.A. & Dessauer, L. Encouraging Healthy Families Workshop, Encouragement Institute, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (April, 2005).

Best, K. A. Understanding Resilience in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Settings. Invited Presentation for Sarasota Memorial Hospital: Nursing and Social Work Staff. Sarasota, Florida. (March, 2005).

Best, K. A. The New Paradigm of Alternative Medicine. Manatee Technical Institute, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (January, 2005).

Best, K. A. Substance Abuse,: Implications for Social Work. Invited presentation at University of South Florida, Sarasota for College of Social Work. (March 3, 2004).

Best, K. A. Understanding Resilience in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Settings. Invited presentation at the Community Assessment and Intervention Center (CAIC): Psychology Interns & Licensed Clinicians. Sarasota, Florida. (December 3, 2003).

Best, K. A., Encouraging Natural Resilience for Child & Adolescent Mental Health. Invited presentation at the Community Assessment and Intervention Center (CAIC): Psychology Interns & Licensed Clinicians. Sarasota, Florida. (April, 2003).

Best, K.A. This is Your Life, Television Talk Show. Korean Broadcasting Systems, Seoul, Korea. ( February, 2002)

Boothroyd, R. A., Giard, J. A., Best, K. A., & Stiles, P. G. Evaluation of the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan. Invited presentation to the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan Coalition Meeting, Tampa, FL. (February, 2002).

Giard, J. A., Best, K. A., Boothroyd, R., & Stiles, P. Integrated primary care. Invited presentation for the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan Coalition Meeting, Tampa, FL. (January, 2002).

Best, K. A. Early Adolescent Project. Invited presentation at the University of South Florida Collaborative for Community and Families: Hillsborough & Pinellas County Stakeholders Meeting. (September, 2001).

Best, K. A. Impact of maternal characteristics, substance use, and services on birth outcomes, Length of stay, and costs in a neonatal intensive care unit. Invited paper presented at Sarasota Memorial Hospital: Obstetric & Gynecology Staff: Sarasota, FL. (September, 2001).

Best, K. A. An evaluation of the impact of substance exposed infants and teen birth on the length of stay and costs in a level III neonatal intensive care unit. Invited paper presented at Sarasota Memorial Hospital: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Staff: Sarasota, FL. (August, 2001).


Scientific conference Presentations and Papers


Best, K. A. Boothroyd, R.A. Reactions to Research Participation: Risks and Benefits. Oral presentation accepted for the 135th Annual American Public Health Association Meeting. Washington, DC. (November 3-7, 2007).

Best, K. A. Boothroyd, R.A., Armstrong, M.I. Dose response of adverse exposures to the rate of change in suicide ideation & clinical depression: Findings from the Welfare Reform: Adolescent Girls in Transition Longitudinal Study. Oral presentation accepted for the 134th Annual American Public Health Association Meeting. Boston, MA. (November 4-8, 2006)

Evancho, K., Boothroyd, R. A., Armstrong, M. I., Gsmez , A., Best, K. A., Chen, R., & Ort, R. Depression Among Adolescent Girls During an Era of Welfare Reform. (2005, November). Paper presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 19th Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.

Best, K. A. Giard, J., Boothroyd, R. A. Competing Values During a Tarasoff-Like Incident. Presented for The 1st International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. (May 5-7, 2005). Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

Best, K.A., Boothroyd, RA, Armstrong, M,I., Hayes, D, Chen, R, Ort, R & Gomez, A. The Contribution of Victimization on Sexual Behaviors and Pregnancy in a Cohort of Adolescent Girls Growing up on Welfare. Presented at the 2005 meeting of the American Academy of Health Behavior in Charleston, SC. (February, 2005).

Best, K.A., Armstrong, M.I., Boothroyd, R.A., Gomez, A., Haynes, D., Ort, R. Rethinking Female Adolescent Depression. Presented at The 17th Annual Research Conference A System of Care for Children's Mental Health:Expanding the Research Base (March, 2005) Tampa, FL

Best, K. A. & Zaraecki, J. Comprehensive Assessment Necessary to Secure Accurate Diagnosis for Children. Presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention. (July 2004) Honolulu, Hawaii.

Best, K.A., Boothroyd, R.A., Armstrong, M.I., Gomez, A., Haynes, D., Ort, R., Chen, R. Growing up on welfare: A conceptual model of risk and resilience framed within three prevailing theories of poverty. Presented at the 2004 meeting of the American Academy of Health Behavior in Sedona, Arizona, (February 29th - March 3, 2004).

Friedman, R., Jetson, J., Lipien, L., Best, K., Development of the Early Adolescence Resilience Survey. Presented at The 17th Annual Research Conference A System of Care for Children's Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base (March 1, 2004) Tampa, FL

Best, K.A., Armstrong, M.I., Boothroyd, R.A., Gomez, A., Haynes, D., Ort, R., Chen. Achieving the Vision: The future goals and aspirations of adolescent girls living in Families Receiving TANF. Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida Presented at the 16th Annual Conference of the Southeast Evaluation Association, Tallahassee, FL (January 28-30, 2004).

Best, K. A. Giard, J., Boothroyd, R. A., Stiles, P. G., Being poor and depressed: Tip of the iceberg. Poster presented at the 131st Annual American Public Health Association Meeting (November, 2003) San Francisco, CA.

Perrin, K. M., Dorman, K. A, Friedman, R., Best, K. A., Jetson, J., & Gaunt, B. An assessment of the needs of young adolescents utilizing a resilience framework. Paper accepted for presentation at the 131st Annual American Public Health Association Meeting (November, 2003) San Francisco, CA.

Boothroyd, R. A., & Best, K. A. Whose perspective should we get?: The agreement between mothers' and daughters' perceptions of daughters' well-being. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association 2003 (November, 2003) Reno, NV.

Boothroyd, R. A., & Best, K. A. Children and mother's reactions as research participants. Paper presented at the 10th annual Building on Family Strengths Conference, Portland, OR. (2003, June).

Best, K. A., & Liller, K.D. Reducing the burden of firearm trauma on our nation's youth. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Scientific Meeting of American Academy of Health Behavior. St. Augustine, Florida. (March, 2003). 

Zarzecki, J., Best, K. A., & Hughes, D. The relationship of trauma exposure and presenting Symptomatology. Poster presented at the16th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children's Mental Health. (March, 2003)

Giard, J., Boothroyd, R. A., Best, K. A., Stiles, P. G., & Suleski, J. Lessons learned: implementing a depression disease management program in primary care for the uninsured. Paper presented at the NIMH, NIDA and NIAAA Services Research Conference, Washington, DC. (March, 2003).

Best , K. A., Dangremond, B., Giard, J., Boothroyd, R. A., Stiles, P. G., & Suleski, J. Evaluation of a county health care plan for the working poor: Design, implementation, results, and challenges. Paper presented at the 15th annual Southeast Evaluation Association Conference, Tallahassee, FL. (2003, January).

Best, K. A., & Boothroyd, R. A. The impact of substance exposed infants on costs and length of stay in a neonatal intensive care unit. Poster presented at the 8th annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiological Conference, Clearwater Beach, FL. (2002, December).

Friedman, R., Jetson, J., Best, K. A., & Gaunt, B. An assessment of the needs of young adolescents utilizing a resilience framework. Paper presented at the15th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children's Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base Tampa, FL: University of South Florida. (2002, March). 

Best, K. A., & Boothroyd, R Maternal behavior and biological influences on birth outcomes: Implications for children's mental health. Paper presented at the 15th Annual Research Conference: A System of Care for Children's Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base Tampa, FL: University of South Florida. (2002, March).

Giard, J. A., Best, K. A., Boothroyd, R. A., & Stiles, P. G. A multifaceted evaluation designed to meet diverse stakeholder needs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Washington, DC. (2002, November).


Publications In The Popular Press

Best, K.A. Effective Strategies for Recycling Stress. Natural Awakenings: Healthy Living Magazine, Published by Positive Change Media, Inc. July, 2005.

HEISLER, S. Therapists helping families avoid 'drama dance'. Herald Tribune. On-line at http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2005505190311

Best, K.A. The 5 Rs for Stress Reduction. Doctor's Health Journal, (2004).

Best, K.A. Creating Peace with Your Teens; Connect, Encourage & Accept. Natural Awakenings: Healthy Living Magazine, Published by Positive Change Media, Inc. October, 2004.

Best, K.A. & Brubaker, L. (Eds.) (1993). Passages of Light. Foundation for A New Way of Living.


Recent Professional Activites

Archetypes and Archetypal Fields: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Brattelboro, VT. November 2011

Clinical Supervision Training, D & S Assoiciates. March 2007

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Training. Tampa, FL. September 2006.

Completed 40 hours of Supreme Court Mediation Training: FMHI. Tampa, FL. May 2006 

Baker Act Training: Sarasota, FL. Spring 2006

Divorce and Families Training; Dr. Emner. FMHI: Tampa, FL. Spring 2006

Effective Treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Edna Foa: Sarasota, FL. Spring 2006

Certification Course in Clinical Hypnosis: THE INSTITUTE FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, INC. (Jan, 2005). 

Certification Course in Ericksonian Clinical Hypnosis: National Institute of the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, 2004

Certification Course in Personal & Executive Coaching: National Institute of the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, 2004

Trauma & Comorbidity: Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior. Phoenix, AZ. February, 2004 

Sex, Drugs, and Chocolate: Understanding and Managing the Physiology and Psychology of Addiction. Sarasota, FL. June 2004 

Conducted Review of Comprehensive Examinations in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences for Master Level Graduate Students. University of South Florida, College of Public Health. October, 2004 

Presentation for New Doctoral Student Seminar. University of South Florida, College of Public Health. Brooksville, FL. October 2004 

American Public Health Association, Mental Health Division. San Francisco, CA. November 2003.

American Public Health Association, College of Public Health, University of South Florida. San Francisco, CA. November 2003


Awards

Reader's Choice Award for Doctor's Health Journal Nomineen 2005 

Making Evaluation Useful Education Award 2003 

Phi Alpha National Honor Society GPA: 4.0 2002 

Most Distinguished Research Award, University of South Florida, Collaborative Research Day 2001 

National Service Award for Work with High-Risk Youth, Washington DC 1996

Academic scholarship from American Association of University Women 1997-1999


Memberships

American Public Health Association 

National Association of Social Workers 

Florida Adlerian Society

C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota

National Guild of Hypnotists


 

 

 



Schedule Appointment

Start your new path in life and be the change today!

CLICK HERE