2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Alumni News: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

As the song says, transitions are hard, but often fruitful, too. Elizabeth Reid focuses on them

By JIM REISLER

Elizabeth Reid had many important experiences at TC, but none more so than her first day. It was Summer 1997, and Reid, who had left her career in investment banking, stood up in psychology professor Barry Farber’s class to explain her goals.

“Others in the class were psychology majors, very experienced,” Reid recalls. “I said I was simply exploring something that had always interested me.”

Reid was certain her brief explanation sounded lame, but Farber warmly welcomed her, proclaiming her statement more than satisfactory. “I had a feeling that I had really found myself,” says Reid, who would earn an M.A. in developmental psychology (1999) and M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology (2005, 2006 and 2009), all at TC. “I had made the transition.”

Since then, Reid has helped others not only survive transitions but also use them as moments of redefinition. At TC, she joined psychologist Lisa Miller in a feasibility study for fifth-graders and in clinical work at Mount Sinai Medical Center. With children, she says, “there’s always a chance that you can help change the course of their lives.” In her practice, Reid works with children at risk for dropping out of school or getting in trouble with the law. Today, as a postdoctoral fellow at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, she also sees women dealing with change, from relocating to New York City to graduating to changing careers. The mother of two children and two stepchildren, Reid is considering enrolling as a candidate in psychoanalytic training. “My interest is working with patients on a deeper level,” Reid says. “It goes back to what drew me to psychology in the first place: never thinking of the quick fix, but exploring something on a whole other level in order to take the next step.” 


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