Stephanie H. Best, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist who firmly believes that when we are nurtured, we have the power to soar! Growing up in Delaware near the ocean and exploring the Chesapeake Bay, Dr. Best developed a lifelong love of the outdoors and dreamed of one day becoming a marine biologist. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science with highest honors in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is where her love affair with the Carolinas began. A National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship drew her out to the West coast, where she earned a Master’s degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before life circumstances invited her to make a major pivot. Realizing that a passion for people and helping others coexisted with her passion for science and nature, Dr. Best embarked on a journey that ultimately led her back to North Carolina, where she completed her doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Duke University. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center, she founded a private practice, BeWellNC Inc., focused on helping adolescents and adults with anxiety and depression. She was later appointed an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and in that role, provided immediate attention for individuals needing assistance for a crisis related to mental health, developmental disability, and/or substance abuse at the UNC Wakebrook Crisis and Assessment Service. In her work as a Certified NeuroMeditation Trainer and mentor through the NeuroMeditation Institute in Oregon, she enjoys teaching health professionals and members of the general public about the use of neuroscience-based principles and strategies to individualize the practice of meditation for optimal health and wellness. For over a decade, Dr. Best has maintained a regular meditation practice of her own, sustained by her direct personal experience and deeply rooted belief in its empirically supported mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.
Dr. Best is an expert practitioner and proponent of mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Using an integrative, collaborative approach to wellness, she helps people develop a different kind of relationship with their fears, their pain, their doubts, their worries, and their urges — so they can move toward who and what they care about with courage and dignity and build a truly meaningful, satisfying life. Dr. Best is dually licensed in both North and South Carolina and is a long-time member of the North Carolina Psychological Association, where she is proud to serve on the Legislative Committee as the Federal Advocacy Coordinator. Mental health advocacy is something that is close to her heart, and she continues to work toward a world in which mental health is valued and viewed as being critical to overall wellness. Outside of the office, Dr. Best enjoys doing yoga, reading a good book, indulging in a great Netflix series, taking long walks in nature, rooting for Manchester United and her beloved Tar Heels, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Personal Statement: “I am on a mission to offer compassionate, holistic, evidence-based therapy that treats the whole person. I know first-hand the profound impact such an integrative approach can have on the mind, body, and soul. So when I was invited to join the Modern Minds team in their mission to develop a new kind of wellness clinic that empowers clients to create long-lasting, meaningful change in their lives, it was a dream opportunity for me! When all aspects of physical, mental, and emotional health are nourished by dedicated, forward-thinking individuals, incredible things happen. It is a joy and privilege to collaborate with this team to try to make a real difference in the way we seek to alleviate human suffering.”