Austin Fit Magazine Best of 2016




(page 5 of 8)

Best Mental Health Professional (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, LPC)

1. Tracy Carver - WINNER

2. Casey Lepper

3. Jennifer McAdams 

Tracy Carver - Vibrant Counseling

After seeing patients how do you unwind?

Yoga is a great therapy and it’s so helpful for me to come to classes. I see clients and then I come to the yoga studio; it helps me feel more centered. Yoga has been instrumental in helping me become a more compassionate counselor, because I’m not carrying around a bunch of my own stuff. Instead, I can be really present with my clients.

Is there a common issue you see in your patients?

A common issue that is nearly universal with all of my clients—whether they’re dealing with addiction, depression, or anxiety—is self-esteem issues. With nearly all of my clients, we work on cultivating greater self-acceptance. So if someone comes to see me I can almost guarantee that it’s going to be woven into the session in some shape or form.

What is your personal approach to therapy?

So, I’m a graduate of the UT Counseling Psychology PhD program. The program  didn’t just teach us one way of approaching therapy—there was an underlying humanistic approach, which simply means being non-judgmental. Then, I did some training in Boston where I got more exposure to a psychoanalytical modality. So I combine both of those in my approach, which, in layman’s terms just means I have a strong theoretical background where I can listen to what someone is saying, go back to the literature, and try to cultivate a deeper understanding of their issues. It also means I don’t come in with an agenda or impose my own beliefs on my clients. I really try to meet them where they’re at, whether it’s through humor or whatever resonates or has meaning to them. Even with spirituality, I really try to step inside their realm, rather than impose just what I learned in grad school.

How do you know when you’ve found the right therapist? 

Friends and family ask me that all the time when they’re looking for help. I think it’s a very personal decision, but the No. 1 thing for me is someone you can trust. Hopefully they’re qualified and credentialed and good at their job, but if you don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing with that person then the therapy is not going to go anywhere. It’s kind of like dating—there might be some trial and error. I offer consultations so people can meet me, see my office, and see if they think we’re going to be a good fit. I also tell people you should feel empowered! Especially here in Austin, there are so many therapists and counselors that if you do end up with someone that isn’t a good fit for you, there’s probably another one down the street.

What are some good methods of mental health care outside of professional help?

I recommend meditation to almost all of my clients. It’s usually the ones that are the most scared of meditation that need it the most. Someone who is already calm and zen-like probably doesn’t need it as much as someone who has a million thoughts running through their head all the time. Those are the people that can really benefit from meditation—and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. The internet has provided so many resources for us, they’re accessible to anyone. Podcasts are another great resource. (I have one of my own coming out soon.) That’s another great outlet for mental health, because it’s helpful to feel connected to others. You’re not the only one dealing with this, you’re not the only one struggling. There are people suffering in the same way as you, but they’re actually talking about it. I think that can be so fulfilling and nurturing to hear.


Best Dentist

1. Nazim Shahi 

Another repeat winner, Dr. Shahi is constantly striving to further his knowledge in the area of dental health. His South Austin office is posh and inviting, making it a comfortable environment for patients.

2. Summer Rydel

3. Bryan Smith


Best Massage Therapist

1. Michelle Hittner

Michelle’s experience as a triathlete, CrossFitter, and cyclist helps her more personally connect with clients that come to her with fitness-related soreness and pain.

2. Tammy Marquez

3. Sue Fegelman


Best Pediatrician

1. Carly Thompson

A Texas Ex, Carly works in the community that helped foster her passion for childhood healthcare. She understands the costs, side effects, and struggles of medications and treatments, and therefore works to maintain a comfortable, conversational practice that limits unnecessary treatments and gives parents a fair voice in the path of their child’s health.

2. Daniel Terwelp

3. Ari Brown


Best Cosmetic Surgeon

1. Ned Snyder

A recipient of St. David’s First Humanitarian Award and recognized in 2014 as a Best Doctor in America, the Austin community continues to regard Dr. Snyder as one of the best in his industry. He works to create natural looks, reflective of the wants and needs of his clientele.

2. Ed Buckingham

3. Rocco Piazza


Best Med Spa

1. Ideal Weight and Skin

On a mission to “help you receive the compliments you deserve,” Ideal Weight and Skin’s clinic combines skin care, body contouring treatments and weight management programs. The spa is clean and the staff is committed to helping you achieve your personal goals through non-surgical means.

2. Westlake Dermatology

3. Austin MedSpa

​Keep reading for Best of Fitness!

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