Paul Samuelson, ARNP, PMHNP
I am a board certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and hold a Masters degree in Nursing specializing as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). I have had the fortune of developing my skills in many settings to include inpatient, residential and outpatient. Four years of practice at Seattle Children’s Hospital on the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit, Training at the #1 nationally recognized School of Nursing (University of Washington) and 4 years as a nurse manager at one of Washington’s Child Long-Term inpatient Treatment Centers set the stage for my outpatient practice. As a result I have an expertise in a broad spectrum of child and adolescent psychiatric conditions.
I was raised in a rural, blue-collar community in Washington. My mother is and was a schoolteacher, and my father a barber. Growing up, I was sensitive to the emotions of those around me and was referred to as “the thermometer of the family.” Weaving my way through adolescence was tough as the “thermometer”. The social challenges of adolescence, navigating through my parent’s divorce, and adjusting to two families did not make it any easier. Growing up, I had an eclectic group of friends, who did not always make great choices or have reliable family support systems. Luckily, I have always had a strong moral compass, which kept me from getting into trouble and drove me to help my peers, especially those needing a leg up. After connecting with this desire to help others, I involved myself in many service projects including one to work with “at risk” middle school students. Ultimately, my continued self-examination led me to a career in nursing.
My nursing background serves as the foundation of my practice as a Nurse Practitioner. I will partner with you to develop a plan that supports your treatment goals as they relate to your physical and mental needs. While change can be powerful and exciting, it can also be very difficult. I appreciate that this is challenging and will support you as you take steps towards your personal goals. Most often it is the small “baby steps” we take that lead to long-term and permanent change. I will meet you where you are and continually provide relevant and supportive education. My practice philosophy centers on using medication, not as a fix, but rather as a tool “making the job easier”, as you build coping skills and gain insight into your life and inner process. I appreciate that mental health is achieved when all facets of our person are addressed.
In my experience I have found medication to be a very meaningful intervention. It is imperative, however, to be careful and deliberate when considering medication. I work diligently to engage those that I work with in discovering and learning how medications impact their mind and body while also targeting the debilitating symptoms in need of relief. There are many different ways to use medication in a supportive fashion. By developing a safe, trustworthy and nonjudgmental environment I hope to allow those in my care to share their concerns, fears and beliefs. If you are not ready to take medication but want to develop a plan for the future I can also support you through this process. For those on multiple medications looking for an overall reduction in their medication regime, I will work with you to find the “perfect balance” and restore your sense of self.
I value working with practitioners of different specialties. I will gladly work in collaboration with other practitioners in an effort to prioritize and streamline your care, keeping your priorities front and center and supporting you in making changes at a pace you are comfortable with.
For more in-depth information about my practice, please visit my website: www.whidbeyintegrativepsychiatry.com