Prior to being a College of Wooster student, Clare Mitchell ’06 knew she would major in psychology because of a family connection. “My mother is a clinical psychologist and assisting her with research during high school really sparked my interest,” Mitchell said. She earned her doctorate in psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2013 and had the opportunity to train in several hospital settings. “My research interest was in older adults and as I began to see patients clinically, I also developed an interest in the intersection of medicine and psychology,” Mitchell said. This led to the alumna’s current career as a consulting psychologist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “I provide consultation to medical providers and bedside psychological treatment to medical patients,” she said.
Originally drawn to Wooster because of her passion for highland dance, Mitchell received a Scottish Arts scholarship that allowed her to pursue both academic and extracurricular interests. Mitchell spent a lot of time with the bagpipers and highland dancers, and she participated in marching band, and Model United Nations. Mitchell also lived in Babcock Hall for the international housing program. “I learned to put myself out there by trying academic courses and activities that weren’t related to my major or Scottish Arts,” she said. Mitchell has continued this, noting, “In addition to being a licensed psychologist, I am an avid gardener and I sing in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,” which is directed by Lisa Wong, associate professor of music at Wooster.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitchell provided psychotherapy online, a change that has had both positive and negative outcomes. “It limited some of the interventions we would usually deliver, but it also helped expand mental health services to people who otherwise might not have had access to them,” she said. It was her Wooster experience, Mitchell explained, that prepared her for the necessary adaptations during the pandemic, as well as expertise for her role as a consulting psychologist. “Wooster allowed me to develop flexible thinking and problem-solving skills which I use all the time in my clinical work,” she said.