Navigating the Shifting Landscape of
Clinical Psychology

Elizabeth Ashley Hostetter shifted her focus to clinical psychology in the wake of COVID-19

West Virginia’s Elizabeth Ashley Hostetter, Future Generations University Class of 2020, has shifted her focus from Agriculture to the realm of clinical psychology. Elizabeth’s path took an unexpected turn during her final semester as the world grappled with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This journey is a testament to adaptability, resilience, and a profound commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others and following a calling of her heart.

Elizabeth continued her education at Walden University, specializing in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Neurology. Her dedication to integrated healthcare and a keen interest in the evolving landscape of mental health set the stage for a career marked by passion and purpose.
As Elizabeth embarks on her internship and PhD dissertation in November, she reflects on the experiences that have changed her trajectory. Originally drawn to working with at-risk children, her perspective shifted as she delved into the complexities of the challenges faced by youth in her community of Huntington. The impact of the closure of local coal mines and the opioid pandemic created a ripple effect, leaving families grappling with the consequences, often passed down through generations.

During her practicum at Lily’s Place, where she worked with the families of infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Currently, she is a supervised psychologist in West Virginia’s Oasis Behavioral Health, where Elizabeth embraced a holistic approach. Recognizing the interconnectedness of medical, family, and societal challenges, she brought together mothers, babies, and parents to overcome obstacles and build a foundation for a brighter future.

One significant aspect of Elizabeth’s work lies in her dedication to adolescents with neurological disorders, some rooted in biological factors. Witnessing the generational cycles of substance abuse, she became a driving force for change, aiming to break the cycle and provide support to those who need it most. Elizabeth’s dissertation focuses on the association between trauma and maternal-infant bonding.

Elizabeth’s educational journey at Future Generations University Masters played a pivotal role in shaping her worldview. The exposure to people from diverse backgrounds worldwide opened her eyes to the profound impact of cultural differences on individuals. This newfound understanding fueled her capacity for empathy, influencing how she cares for her patients.

Elizabeth Ashley Hostetter’s story is a beacon of hope in a world undergoing rapid transformation. Her ability to adapt, learn, and channel her passion into a heart project exemplifies the resilience of those committed to making a difference in the field of clinical psychology. As she embarks on her internship and dissertation, one can only anticipate the positive change she will continue to bring to the lives of those she serves.

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