We had the good fortune of connecting with Chantal Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chantal, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I am happy to report that as my confidence has grown, my work-life balance has leaned heavily in the “life” direction. I had an epiphany that a lot of my so-called “hard work” (i.e., workaholism!) was really driven by need to prove my worth, a need to feel “productive” at all times, or even worse, a need for self-punishment – rather than a heartfelt desire to bring my best to my career and serve the people with whom I work. Now, instead of overworking and draining myself dry, I try to work “smart.” I prioritize, take tasks slowly, do what’s most important first and let the rest wait, and make plenty of time to care for myself. To my amazement, this slow and relaxed approach actually leads to HIGHER productivity because I feel less fear about facing difficult tasks, leaving me free to tackle them without anxiety, and less likely to procrastinate.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The journey to becoming a clinical psychologist is for masochists. Kidding…kind of! Anyone who has been to graduate school knows that it is perfect for people who have a high tolerance for impaired social life, delayed gratification, living at the poverty level, and putting off all other life goals like having a family…or just having any fun. I struggled deeply to sustain my motivation through the five years it took to complete my PhD, in particular when it came time to complete my dissertation. Self-doubt, dread, and confusion are an inevitable part of that process. But it was so worth it in the end – to be blessed to earn a living doing work that means something to me every day, that is endlessly interesting, and that has such a variety of diverse job options that will entertain me for the rest of my career lifespan.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pre-COVID, Los Angeles was the place to be. In a fantasy world where the pandemic lifts, I would take my friend to the hidden Moss Cove beach in Laguna for the day. That evening, we’d hear some ragtime music at my favorite secret wine bar, 1642 Beer & Wine (Echo Park), or sample a tasting of bold barnyard reds at Covell (Los Feliz). Then we’d head for dinner at the best cheap eat on the east side, Mh Zh (Silverlake). We’d finish the night by driving up the 2 into the mountains and stargazing from Angeles National Forest, just a short drive from Los Angeles.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could not be where I am without the support of those with whom I work, including our compassionate and wise Assistant Director of Medical Student Wellness, Dr. Maria Juliani, and my savvy and talented boss, Dr. Donna Elliott.

Website: https://keck.usc.edu/education/student-services/wellness

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.