Philosophy & Values
by Dr. Jennifer Fauntleroy
My model is developmental; that is, I think of people's problems coming from getting "stuck" at different points along the road to true maturity, that depend on the age at which the incorrect thinking, or inability to regulate emotions, began. Therefore I do not have a "one size fits all" approach to therapy. I believe that mental illnesses and associated difficulties are caused by a combination of heredity, environment, and belief systems.
Recovery is possible, and the goal of therapy and medication, but hard work and commitment are required.
No one seriously expects to learn a second language by taking a pill or putting a speaker under the pillow. This takes real-life practice, study, drill, and time. Likewise, recovery will not take place overnight. Patients who come for eight weekly sessions and then quit, saying "it's not working" misunderstand the process, or are only seeking support for a time-limited crisis in the first place (time-limited crisis support can be very effective, but is not to be confused with long-term psychotherapy).
The cure is in the person, not the pill.
The purpose of medication is to help regulate mood, "damp down" distracting and draining "brainstorms" such as mania, psychosis, bottomless despair, or dissociation. Managing these "storms" by will power alone requires massive amounts of psychic energy, which are then not available for inner growth, connecting with other people, or having healthy fun. A refusal to include medication in the treatment plan has resulted in many people settling for a life well below their potential and hopes for themselves. In many cases "self-medication" with drugs and alcohol leads to a downward spiral.
Happiness comes from competence.
As soon as a baby learns to roll over, its one goal is to master its world, both internal and external. Specific adult competencies that need to be the goal of any therapy include:
- Self-mastery, emotional self-regulation
- Good self-care
- Ability to take unselfish interest in others
- Getting pleasure from being a productive member of a community (please note "productive" doesn't mean here bringing home a paycheck; there are lots of ways disabled adults can "pull their weight" in their families and communities)
Mental illnesses are brain diseases.
People coping with mental illness and their families and therapists need to fight stigma whenever possible. Many illnesses readily recognized as "medical" - for example, emphysema - have social impact and "behavioral" components. To claim that mental illnesses are somehow unique in this respect is nonsense.
Dr. Jennifer FauntLeRoy
Dr. FauntLeRoy has been the treating psychiatrist at Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community since 2006. She retired from the Cuittingville Program in February 2016 but still works with our Rutland Program clients from her office in Rutland.
Education and Experience
Dr. FauntLeRoy received her undergraduate degree in 1969 from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, and graduated from New York University School of Medicine in 1978. After five years in General Practice in rural Southern Illinois, she returned to St. Elizabeth's Hospital of Boston to complete a residency in Psychiatry. Dr. FauntLeRoy was an APA/Mead Johnson Fellow in Community Psychiatry in 1985. She received Board Certification in Psychiatry & Neurology in 1988.
She worked as a staff Psychiatrist at Tri-City Community Mental Health in Malden, Massachusetts, and concurrently worked as a private practice psychiatrist in Boston until 1997. Dr. FauntLeRoy came to Rutland, Vermont in 1998 to become Medical Director of the Psychiatric Services Unit at Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she was responsible for inpatient work, clinical care, program development, supervision, and crisis coverage. In 2005, she opened up her own private practice while continuing to provide on-call crisis coverage at Rutland Hospital. Since 2006, Dr. FauntLeRoy has been the sole provider of psychiatric services for Spring Lake Ranch in Cuttingsville and in our Rutland program.
- A Developmental Model of Personality Disorders
- Use of Contracts in Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder
- Geriatric Psychopharmacology
- Problems with the Usual Research Designs and Complex Causality in Psychiatry
- American Psychiatric Association
- Vermont Psychiatric Society
- American College of Community Psychiatry
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
- Physicians for a National Health Plan
- Vermont Head Injury Association
What People Are Saying...
I look back on my years spent at Spring Lake Ranch as a time when hope was beginning to come back into my life. Working hard focused my mind on something other than my problems, and the respectful treatment I received from the staff was very healing.