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The CNYPA Snapshot is our new bi-monthly blog that features a different psychologist within the CNYPA membership. The intended audience includes our fellow CNYPA members, as well as the general public – both of whom may be interested in obtaining psychologically-minded information and fostering connections with the wonderful psychologists who serve Central New York’s diverse population.

CNYPA Snapshot: Christine Allen, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine AllenWork Location
600 East Genesee Street, Suite 208 Syracuse, NY 13202

How did you become interested in the field of Psychology?
I took a psychology class at 16 in high school and decided that I wanted to be a psychologist. I was fascinated by what made people the same and different, about how the brain worked, how we learn, develop and grow, and knew this is what I wanted to do for a living.  Living abroad in Australia in high school and in France for my junior year of college also made me interested in individual and group differences.

Briefly describe your area of specialty:
I am a clinical psychologist who began her career fairly traditionally, but who felt boxed in early on by health care and managed care. As a psychologist, I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and in health care. I knew that giving people a diagnosis, billing health insurance, and seeing people only when they were distressed was not the only way to use psychological science to help people grow, develop, and be successful.  So I began to do consulting and get some additional certifications and coach-specific training.  I opened Insight Business Works in 2011.  We partner with individuals, teams, leaders, and organizations to help with the “people-side of business.”  We do executive coaching, leadership development, executive talent selection, team building and team coaching, as well as speaking and workshops on mindfulness, resilience, work-life harmony, ethical leadership, cultivating resilience, personalities in the workplace, creating collaborative culture, and more.  I love what I do because I can use psychological expertise and science to help make the world a little bit better everyday!

Based on your specialty, what is one piece of advice for our readers?
Never stop learning and growing.  Developing yourself is a lifelong pursuit that will pay all kinds of dividends in physical, mental, and cognitive health and well-being, as well as make your life interesting and fun. It will help you to use your true gifts to help others when you focus on becoming the best version of yourself.

Can you provide a recommendation for how our readers can begin to implement your piece of advice?
Develop some intentional practices such as a five-minute daily meditation, a gratitude journal, or a habit of reading 10 minutes at night.  Try something new—a new food, a new way home, listen to a new piece of music.  Remember that experimental research has shown that that the pay-it-forward concept is real—use yourself to do something very small to help others everyday, creating a cascade of kindness and generosity affecting literally dozens of others from your one small act (such as smiling or saying hello to someone on the street!)

Tell us something fun about you:  If you weren’t a psychologist, what would you be?
If I weren’t a psychologist, I would be an animal behaviorist, an anthropologist, or a history teacher. I love quotes.  One favorite, from the recently deceased poet Mary Oliver is, “Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.”

If any of our readers would like more information, Dr. Allen can be contacted by e-mail at chris@insightbusinessworks.com or by phone at 315-727-8881.