Erin Olivo, (Oh-leave-oh) Ph.D., MPH, is an author and licensed clinical psychologist with more than 22-years of experience treating patients dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. From July 2004 – 2017, she was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology at the Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Although Erin loved science as a kid, it was her experience volunteering at the local hospital that had the greatest impact on her professional career. She witnessed firsthand how little things could make a big difference in a patients’ stay. Because of that, she made sure to spend extra time with those who were lonely or just wanted to talk. The hospital was also where Erin learned how multi-disciplinary healthcare worked and that everyone on the health-care team, from the doctor to the social worker, played a part in a patient’s recovery.
By her sophomore year at Duke, Erin made the decision to become a medical social worker. She had also developed an interest in the mind-body connection and integrative medicine, and experienced first hand how thoughts affected the mind.
While studying at Duke, her Dad sent an article from the New York Times on “The Experiments of Dr. Oz.” It described cutting edge research being done by a young but already very accomplished heart surgeon named Mehmet Oz. Dr. Oz was looking at the effects of mind body techniques on surgical success and recovery rates. Her dad attached a note that said, “Someday you and Dr. Oz are going to work together.”
Nine years later—after receiving a masters degree in both public health and social work, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, all from Columbia University—Erin’s father proved to be right.
From July 2004 to July 2008, Erin was Director of the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program, which she headed in collaboration with Dr. Oz. She contributed to Dr. Oz’s best-selling book series You: The Owners Manual and the two wrote a series of articles on stress management techniques for O: The Oprah Magazine and Oprah.com.
During this time, Erin also oversaw research trials that involved teaching mindfulness meditation to cardiac surgery patients, people with chronic cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer patients. The results found that mindfulness meditation improved their overall quality of life, and decreased feelings of anxiety and depression.
In July 2011, Erin released Free Yourself from Anxiety (Sounds True), a 2-disc CD/audio program of guided mindful meditations that help transform the experience of anxiety and let you return to a life of wholeness and balance.
Erin currently maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan. She works with adults and teenagers who are experiencing difficulties dealing with stress, depression, anxiety, unhealthy relationships, chronic illness or problems such as self-destructive behavior, addictions, and over-eating.
Erin’s treatment approach is solution focused.
She draws from the philosophical traditions of mindfulness, cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Erin teaches patients how to identify and manage the emotions that might be getting in the way of achieving your goals so they can live a balanced life. She provides mindfulness-based exercises and lifestyle skills to help you make wise mind living choices to change the way you think, feel, and behave in situations where stress and anxiety arise. Then Erin gives practical instruction in putting it all together to manage your emotions for health and well-being.
Erin’s first book, Wise Mind Living: Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Life, is available now, along with her audio program, Living In Wise Mind: Practices to Master Your Emotions and Transform Your Life. You can read her Psychology Today blog here and her Oz Blog here.
Erin lives in New York City with her husband Adam and son Grady.