As one of the first staff members to join Veritas Collaborative in 2012, Mark Wolever, PhD has played an integral part in our Clinical Team. We asked him to share a little about himself — his hobbies, what he does at Veritas, and something most people may not know about him. Here’s what he had to say:
Name: Mark Wolever, PhD
Position: Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Therapist at Veritas Collaborative
Years as a practicing therapist: 25 years
First Job: Paper Boy. It was a really difficult route.
Oh you mean as a therapist!
After my internship at the Durham VA Hospital, I did a Post Doctoral Fellowship at UNC Hospital. I worked extensively in the field of Oncology with primary responsibilities with The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, The Breast Cancer Clinic, and The Heart & Lung Transplant Teams.
What is your favorite book?
I enjoy reading novels for pleasure and texts related to my psychotherapy field, so I am going to provide two “favorites”. Early in my training I read a book by Irvin Yalom titled Love’s Executioner. It was an extremely influential book that helped shape my thinking about patient care and underscored the challenges and responsibilities associated with being a psychotherapist. One of my all time favorite novels is by Pat Conroy. I am a huge fan of his work, and I think his best ever is titled Beach Music.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It is really difficult to parse it down to one thing. I enjoy most aspects of what I do at Veritas. Working as an individual therapist with the children is incredibly challenging and equally rewarding. The family therapy work is especially compelling. It is truly a privilege to be allowed into these family systems with the goal of facilitating change within the family context that will support recovery. Beyond the process aspect of my work, perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is the outcome piece. It is amazing to see a child who has been admitted to Veritas, sometimes on death’s door and imprisoned by their eating disorder, leave having learned so many skills and with a renewed perspective on living. When a parent says, “thank you, I feel like my child is back” there is no better feeling.
“Mark is one of the most compassionate, wise, thoughtful, and caring human beings I’ve ever known. His integrity is rock solid, as is his competence and efficacy as a psychologist. He has experience in handling situations that are not always ideal, but he consistently creates a path grounded in love and grace.”
Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Veritas Collaborative
What is your background, and why did you choose to work as a therapist in a hospital setting?
So that is a difficult question because I am not sure we have enough time to unwrap my background. Thus, I will stick with my Psychology background. I have a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Toledo, which was a generalist-training program. I did my internship at the Durham VA where I began to focus more on Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. I then completed a Fellowship at UNC Hospitals in Behavioral Medicine, and later a second Fellowship in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine at Duke’s Center For Living. I stayed on there as a faculty member for approximately 4 years. I then transitioned into private practice and started “Health Psychology Associates” doing individual, couples and family therapy. When I became aware of the opening of Veritas Collaborative, I saw an opportunity to apply my skills in a new arena with a population that had been underserved. I approached Stacie and Chase to see if there might be a place for me in their organization, and the rest is history.
What is a day like in the life of a Veritas therapist?
“A day in the life”; well I can say that no two are identical and it requires a high degree of flexibility. Days are a mixture of seeing patients and or their parents in therapy. Attending clinical team meetings, facilitating group activities for patients and parents, consulting with some really amazing colleagues on cases and providing case management for patients. There is rarely a dull moment.
What is something people might not know about you?
Let’s see, people may not know that I had a lengthy career as an electrician prior to going back to school to pursue a different education that ultimately led me to graduate school and beyond.
What brings you joy and happiness in your life?
I have two amazing ladies in my life who make it all worthwhile, my wife Ruth and daughter Emma. Ruth is an incredible wife and mother who makes the world a better place to live. She also finds time to work as a Psychologist at Duke’s Integrative Medicine and has just published a book titled The Mindful Diet. My daughter Emma who was born with Rett Syndrome and has special needs, is pure joy. On a daily basis she teaches me the meaning of patience, acceptance, and gratitude. Her smile lights my world.
Your favorite quote (perhaps about recovery)?:
I currently have a quote on my door that I like a lot that applies to our patients and ourselves,
“Don’t believe everything you think”
I am also a big fan of Rumi who said,
“Let the beauty we love be what we do”