Meet Our Team: Dr. Benaaz Russell

What is your name and what are your credentials?
 Benaaz Russell, Psy.D.

Please give us a brief description of your background.
I am originally from Maryland. I received my doctorate from Argosy University in Washington, DC. My training included general outpatient, chemical dependency treatment, psychological testing, and psychiatric residential treatment. I moved to Florida for my internship and then stayed to complete my post-doctoral residency at a local treatment center, specializing in eating disorders. After completing my residency, I worked as a primary therapist in residential treatment for eating disorders. Additionally, I worked in private practice for many years before the opportunity of Clinical Director at Oliver-Pyatt Centers came my way. Lastly, I recently completed my service as a Board Member of IAEDP South Florida.

What does a typical day look like for you at Oliver-Pyatt Centers?
On a typical day, I am meeting with patients for sessions, meeting with different team members to discuss clinical issues, interfacing with various Oliver-Pyatt Centers departments, connecting with patient’s families and outpatient providers, attending to any staffing and scheduling issues that arise, and conducting insurance reviews as needed.

In your own words, describe the Oliver-Pyatt Centers philosophy.
Recovery that is grounded in compassion, dignity, and respect.

How does the team of clinical directors work together? How do your roles overlap and differ? What does your role look like within your own casa?
We work very closely to ensure there is consistency across the casas. We meet weekly to discuss any relevant issues related to clinical, staffing, programming, and leadership. We provide each other with a lot of support, and have a great overall connection. My role within Casa Verde is multifaceted. I have a bird’s eye view of all the different parts of treatment being implemented. I have the privilege of having a very unique role in the sense that I am working directly with patients providing group and individual therapy, along with supervision and administrative support to team Verde.

What would you say is the personality of your casa?
Quirky, creative, and dedicated.

What is your favorite thing about Oliver-Pyatt Centers?
Family style/oriented, close knit environment that fosters a strong belief that one can rise to the challenge and be the very best they can be.

What are three facts about you that people do not know?
I love roller coasters, I am a big fan of The Golden Girls, and from time to time I listen to holiday music throughout the year.

Any additional information you want to share with our readers? 
I am truly grateful for my OPC family.


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For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers, newly introduced Embrace a binge eating recovery program and Clementine a residential program exclusively for adolescents girls, please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram