About

van Eys Mental Health was formed as a culmination of Dr. Patti van Eys’ decades of experience serving children and adults whose early lives were complicated by factors that challenged their developmental trajectories.

Meet Dr. Patti van Eys

Passion for Addressing Complexities

Dr. Patti, as she is known to her clients and colleagues, brings years of experience as a clinical psychologist serving those whose early lives were complicated by factors that interfered with their developmental trajectories. 

It is Dr. van Eys’ purpose and passion to understand, and help other professionals understand, clients’ essential neurobiological “wiring,” and to partner with clients to resolve and navigate resulting complexities.

Contact van Eys Mental Health to discuss your needs. Together, we’ll navigate next steps. 

DR. Patti Van eys

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Patti van Eys
"Dr. Patti understands the hearts, minds, and hurts of children and teens with complex trauma histories. An expert in both wholistic and systemic psychological evaluation, she is also a dynamic speaker and a wise and trustworthy consultant/supervisor. Her unique understanding of the ways in which dissociation manifests in this population positions her as one of the most seasoned psychologists for helping other caregivers, clinicians, and legal representatives understand the vulnerabilities and capabilities of children from hard places.”
Paris Goodyear-Brown
LCSW, RPT-S, Executive Director of the TraumaPlay Institute and Clinical Director of Nurture House, author of Trauma and Play Therapy: Helping Children Heal
VARIETY OF FACTORS

Science, and most importantly, my clients, have taught me that multiple factors shape both problematic behaviors and incredible resilience.

Experience

The Formative Years…

Prepared to specialize in developmental neuropsychology following her graduate studies, Dr. Patti's true calling emerged in Huntsville Alabama, where she was discovered and shaped by The National Children’s Advocacy Center*, a then single agency model that has since spawned 900+ “CACs”.

She was one of 30 trainers in the National Training Program for Effective Treatment Approaches in Child Sexual Abuse. She spoke annually for 20 years as a faculty member at the Huntsville National Symposium on Child Sexual Abuse (later named International Symposium on Child Maltreatment). It was here that she began to develop the experience, wisdom, and conviction to serve this complex population.

*The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) model, housed under the National Children’s Alliance, is known internationally as “best practice” for multidisciplinary response to maltreatment trauma.

Dr Patti van Eys speaking

A natural feel for complex trauma – in the therapy room, in the courts, and teaching in the field

"The presenter [Dr. Patti van Eys] was so knowledgeable about a topic I knew little about and was a strong communicator. I feel better equipped to serve my clients more effectively as a result."
Participant
Vanderbilt University lunch and learn series
FORMAL

Education and Training

B.A. in Psychology – DePauw University

  • Kenneth S. Wagner research Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Magna cum Laude

M.A. in Clinical Psychology – Bowling Green State University (Ohio)

PhD in Clinical Psychology – Bowling Green State University (Ohio)

Predoctoral Internship/Clinical Fellowship — Harvard Medical School

  • Boston Children’s Hospital 
  • Judge Baker Children’s Center 
CONTINUING

Education and Certifications

  • Certified Building Strong Brains Trainer (by: Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth)
  • Trained as a Level 1 trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) by certified PCIT trainer John Paul Abner
  • Trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) by certified CPP trainers (Mindy Kronenberg and Kay Conners)
  • Certified in EMDR Basic Trainings 1 and 2 by EMDRIA with further training on the EMDR Attachment Protocol
  • 3-month ISSTD Course in Assessment and Treatment of Traumatized Children and Adolescents with Dissociative Symptoms and Disorders (trainers- Joyanna Silberg, PhD and Fran Waters, LMSW, DCSW)
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) – trained as a trainer in TFCBT model and the Learning Collaborative Model through the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (Duke University)
  • Attachment, Self-regulation, and Competency (ARC) Model – trained through Vanderbilt University by certified ARC trainer, Jon Ebert, PsyD
  • Certified in Multidisciplinary Approach to Child Sexual Abuse Intervention – University of Alabama (Huntsville) and the National Children’s Advocacy Center
EXPERIENCE

Later Years

In her 17 years as a practicing and teaching professor at Vanderbilt University, and as clinical director of Vanderbilt’s Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, Dr. van Eys honed her skills in assessment and treatment of clients with complex clinical presentations.

Especially facile in the area of developmental (i.e., complex) trauma and the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on lifelong development, her expertise is recognized statewide and nationally.

More recently, Dr. van Eys served for 5 years as Chief Clinical Officer at Omni Visions, a large foster care agency. This experience afforded her yet another lens on children and families managing complex trauma. She led the agency through a trauma-competent culture shift, and began leading other agencies in such efforts, while speaking nationally as an expert in complex trauma and dissociation.

For the last ten years she has also provided expert analysis and opinion in complex clinical cases for:

  • Mitigation evaluations of defendants on death row and other defendants with histories of developmental trauma
  • Mental health damages in civil cases of child abuse in institutions
  • Contested custody cases in both adoption and divorce scenarios that include child maltreatment issues.

The more complex the history and symptoms, the better the match for Dr. van Eys’ expertise.

Systems Work

Dr. van Eys understands the multiple and complex systems involved in serving children and families and has been a long-time advocate for best practice. She was contracted to the State of Tennessee in 2001 and 2002 to facilitate progress in children’s mental health policy through the Tennessee Children’s Health Initiative.

As Manager of Behavioral Health with BlueCare (Medicaid health plan) for three years, she led best practice initiatives in collaboration with the Bureau of TennCare and other stakeholders. Their mission was to improve services for TennCare (Medicaid) members. TennCare services changed as a result of this work, embedding a new model involving trauma-informed, system of care, evidenced based practice for Tennessee’s higher risk youth and families. She has served on multiple state level task forces and boards such as:

  • Building Strong Brains Private Sector Steering Panel (TN ACEs initiative)
  • ACE Nashville Trauma Informed Care Workgroup
  • The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Commissioner’s Mental Health Task Force
  • The Tennessee Connecting for Children’s Justice annual child maltreatment symposium task force
  • Tenncare Best Practice Guidelines task force for Childhood Trauma and Attachment Disorders
  • The Tennessee Voices for Children Board
  • The Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute Board of Trusts
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield Provider Advisory Board
"Thank you, Dr. Patti, for always being a tireless advocate for children and families that have experienced so much pain and suffering from trauma. You have helped to catapult the Omni Family towards not just becoming trauma informed but competent."
Dr. Dan Williams
Chief Clinical Officer, Omni Community Health

In addition to her private work through van Eys Mental Health, she volunteers her time working with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). She serves as a co-chair on the committee rewriting the International Best Practice Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Dissociation in Children and Adolescents.