Shea Golding is set to graduate with her clinical psychology PhD from Mississippi State University (MSU; hail state!) in August 2017. 

She is currently finishing her predoctoral internship at Spectrum Health of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She plans to focus primarily on clinical endeavors and to work toward board certification in behavioral sleep medicine in the coming years.

How did you get interested in BSM?

I initially returned to MSU for doctoral work with a research focus on suicide.  My adviser (Dr. Michael R. Nadorff) does work in sleep, suicide, and aging, so sleep quickly became a secondary research interest of mine.  Having worked only minimally with sleep in a clinical setting, I applied for several internship programs including opportunity for BSM work.  My work within the Sleep Disorders Clinic on internship (supervisor:  Dr. Leisha Cuddihy) cemented my career goal to work toward BSM as my specialty.

Who are your BSM mentors?

Dr. Michael R. Nadorff, director of clinical training at MSU, first piqued my interest in sleep research, though I admit I was initially begrudging of adding a new literature to my repertoire.  Under his clinical supervision, I was able to work briefly with a client with insomnia which led me to learn about cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.  Thus, I was thrilled to match for internship here at Spectrum Health so that I could work under the supervision of Dr. Leisha Cuddihy, CBSM, and learn more about CBT-I and working in a sleep center.  As a board certified BSM provider, she has helped to provide me the resources, patient opportunity, and supervision necessary to confirm my passion for sleep medicine.  We have worked together to ensure a patient population including those with insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, and CPAP nonadherence.

Both Michael and Leisha have encouraged and supported me as I work toward a BSM fellowship.

What are your career goals? 

For the short-term, my focus is furthering my knowledge in providing quality BSM care, working with a multidisciplinary treatment team, and preparing for board certification.  Longer term, I would love to have the opportunity to teach again at some point and perhaps add in some administrative work focused on process improvement and/or healthcare reach.

What is your dream job?

Ideally, I would love to carve out a position that is mostly clinical in focus (BSM, that is) but includes the opportunity to teach and mentor once my skills are more developed.  Administrative opportunity to develop plans to spread the reach of service provision to lesser served populations would be a cherry on top!

Where would you like to see the field of BSM in 10 years?

I think I would be remiss if I did not say that my vision for the field includes a greater integration between sleep physicians and behavioral health providers.  I am fortunate to work in a collaborative clinic with providers who value sleep psychology, but I know that is not the case everywhere. 

What are your favorite things to do away from the office?

I enjoy music in most all forms – musicals, concerts, singing in the car and shower, and occasionally pretending I can play the piano better than I actually can.  Otherwise, I enjoy traveling with good friends, and I’ve begun rekindling my love of reading (currently reading Stephen King’s It in preparation for the upcoming cinematic remake).

What is your next vacation or dream vacation destination?

Aside from my first trip to Boston for the SLEEP conference, I plan to visit the west coast and friends in Seattle, WA, and San Luis Obispo, CA, this summer.  My dream vacation would be to visit Athens, Greece.

Do you have any special hobbies or talents?

I’m not winning any Grammy’s, but I’ve had years of vocal lessons and partially paid for my undergraduate tuition with a choral scholarship.  My friends are all very impressed – and, more truthfully, probably irritated by my exhaustive attempt to provide a constant soundtrack for all of our lives.

What experiences have helped shape your training in BSM?

I’ll do a blanket statement referring back to the work I’ve done with Drs. Nadorff and Cuddihy, as I would not have gotten my foot in the door without Dr. Nadorff or furthered my enthusiasm for BSM without Dr. Cuddihy. Additionally, going through the process of submitting and publishing an article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine provided me a window into the knowledgeable and critical thinkers in sleep research, pushing me to dig deeper in my conceptualization of our findings. Being welcomed wholeheartedly by the sleep clinic here certainly didn’t hurt; I’m very grateful to be working with these providers.

What resources have helped to advance your training?

I’ve had great reading recommendations and look forward to my first SLEEP conference, but for me it all comes down to good mentorship.  As a trainee, I think we sometimes take for granted how helpful it is to have easily accessible supervision and consultation.  Although the idea of being independent is exciting, it is also a bit scary.  I know that my fear is ameliorated by knowing I have great mentors with whom I plan to consult throughout my career (head’s up, Michael and Leisha).