The Right Person to Ask for Help
In her New Hope psychiatry practice, Dr. Laurie Schray excels at helping patients embrace the changes in their lives
by Bill Donahue

When patients turn to a psychiatrist for whatever troubles them, they look to form a trusting bond with a highly qualified individual with exceptional experience and stellar training. They also seek out someone blessed with the gift of understanding who can, above all else, help them get better.

If they’re lucky they will find their way to Dr. Laurie Schray, whose private psychiatry practice in New Hope excels at provides comprehensive, customized and collaborative mental health treatment.

Dr. Schray is a board-certified specialist with more than 25 years of experience and expertise in various treatment modalities. Her career has included posts as medical director of various local and regional medical institutions, as well as experience within corporate America as medical director for a national health care organization in the Midwest.

“I am highly qualified as a board-certified psychiatrist and certified physician executive,” says Dr. Schray. “I have a depth of experience in multiple areas and with multiple treatment modalities. A hallmark of my practice is engaging in an active dialogue with patients, asking questions and helping them think about things from a different perspective.

“Patients need to feel supported when they are suffering as well as respected for having the courage to ask for help,” she continues. “If the treatment plan we’ve developed doesn’t seem to be working, it may need to be reviewed and revised. Achieving the goal of feeling better and being able to return to the previous level of functioning is more important than sticking to a particular plan or intervention.”

Dr. Schray earned her doctorate from Hahnemann Medical College, now part of the Drexel University College of Medicine, and split her residencies at University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Einstein Medical Center.

“I like that I can provide comprehensive services, based on my education, training and past experiences,” she says. “If I can provide the therapy, as well as any needed medication management, it allows for optimum continuity of care for the patient. If you look at the information gathered over the course of the last 10 years, you see that much of mental health and medical health are linked together. For example, it’s very common for people who have had heart attacks or strokes to also have depression. As a physician I am able to appreciate how a patient’s presentation may be associated with known medical problems, possible undetected medical illnesses or medication side effects. It is essential that there be an open channel of communication with the patient’s primary care physician.

“One of the things I am known for and enjoy is getting a comprehensive view of someone’s mental and physical health, relationships, responsibilities and living environment,” she continues. “With this information a treatment strategy addressing multiple facets and needs of the patient can be developed. Additionally, you have to partner with the patient; you can’t just dictate treatment. Most people want to participate in their treatment, so it’s important to have that collaboration.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Schray has worked with and treated people of all walks of life, in all situations: adolescents and young adults coping with ongoing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often with accompanying addiction and legal troubles; the severely mentally ill, as medical director of a county hospital; the incarcerated, as regional medical director of a company that provided health benefits to the New Jersey Department of Corrections; the elderly and their families for those in assisted-living facilities; and, of course, patients dealing with various issues in her private practice.

The most prevalent conditions she treats are mood disorders and anxiety disorders, which, she suggests, often occur together. These disorders affect people of all ages, though she customizes treatment for each patient because circumstances vary from patient to patient. For example, one patient could be struggling with the death or illness of a loved one or perhaps dealing with their own serious health situation.

“I’ve treated cancer survivors and people with progressively debilitating illnesses who have had to cope with changes in their bodies and daily functioning,” she says. “But anyone who has had significant changes in their life can suffer from a mood disorder or anxiety disorder, because change can take a toll on one’s mental health.

“Even when we look forward to something—something positive, like getting a promotion or having your kids go off to college—there’s still stress involved. It’s also very common to see more than one thing at a time going on with someone. My job is to get them to open up and trust me enough to let me help them.”

Dr. Laurie Schray
9 Market Place
Logan Square
New Hope, PA 18938