Psychologist Spotlight: Vanessa Roddenberry, Ph.D.

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Meet Dr. Vanessa H. Roddenberry, Ph.D., HSP-P

Dr. Roddenberry is a Clinical Psychologist. She founded Breyta Psychological Services to address the need for trauma-informed mental health care in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Dr. Roddenberry specializes in the assessment and treatment of PTSD and related disorders.

Breyta Ask Me Anything:

What do you love most about being a psychologist?

“There’s a moment in therapy when all the pieces of the puzzle click together for clients – everything we’ve been working on together. The processes of psychoeducation, fostering self-compassion, building insight and motivation for change, all come together in a synergistic way. I can see in the client’s eyes and hear it in their voice; they understand why something was difficult to move past but that the issue is workable. They start to realize they’ve developed the skills they need to change the script and live differently; that the problem wasn’t their fault but their response to it is in their hands. It’s incredibly gratifying and a true honor to walk beside clients as they navigate this.”

What’s something people may not know about you?

I love puns. The cornier the better! I think humor is such an important coping tool.

What are some of your favorite self-care activities?

I’m never far from my Kindle. I read every chance I get, or listen to podcasts. It’s amazing how refreshing and inspiring a creative perspective or new ideas can be. I like to nurture my mind with things like that. Then of course, there’s nothing as relaxing as binge watching a good Netflix show (it’s about balance).

What’s something you wish more clients knew?

How incredible they are. The act of sharing your struggle with another person in a real, unguarded way is so courageous. The strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity is awe-inspiring. Every day I witness clients engage in this reckoning and come out the other side able to take something meaningful from it.

UNC or Duke?

UNC for sure. That’s my alma mater. I’m a Tarheel through and through.

How do you recommend someone start working on recovering from trauma?


Don’t put pressure on yourself to follow any agenda but your own. Part of trauma recovery involves you taking your power back in a healthy way. Everything about recovery is a choice. When you’re ready, find a trauma professional with whom you feel comfortable and discuss the plan forward in a collaborative way. Do your research so you have a sense of what options you may want to try, then go for it.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

It’s by Rilke. It speaks to the difficult but necessary work of staying present so we can live life on life’s terms, and savoring that journey. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke