Author Archives: Robyn Kievit Kirkman

Big News – Revealed!

We have big news this month and can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s a hint – our practice is growing – read on to get details! 

Starting February 22nd, Emily Pardue, PMHNP, is officially joining my practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Emily will be building her outpatient practice over the next few months taking on new patients. She not only brings her expertise to my practice, but patients appreciate her counseling and guidance on their journeys. 

Emily will begin to check emails next week ahead of her start date, seeing patients virtually for the time being. Please be in touch with Emily directly to schedule an appointment or a discovery call. More about Emily below!


Emily Pardue, PMHNP, is very excited to join Robyn’s outpatient practice! She is Board Certified as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and has been working in the field for 10 years. She obtained her Master’s Degree from Boston College’s School of Nursing and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Middlebury College.

In her work, Emily is drawn to the interconnectedness of body and mind and the relationship between nutrition and mental health. She started her medical career working in a primary care practice in Maine that integrated mental health treatment into their medical care model. She truly enjoyed improving access to care for patients and their families while closely collaborating with patients’ primary care providers. Emily then relocated back to Massachusetts, working as an NP at Walden Behavioral Care. 

While at Walden, Emily provided psychiatric and medical care to patients throughout their continuum of care, including the inpatient psychiatric unit, inpatient eating disorder unit, residential center, and partial hospitalization program. She has extensive experience treating patients with eating disorders, anxiety and trauma, depression and mood disorders, and ADHD.

In her free time, you will find Emily with her family. She enjoys baking bread and trying new cookie recipes with her children. Emily also has a love for reading, most recently revisiting some of her favorite books from childhood. Although Emily has always loved to travel abroad, over the past few years she has enjoyed exploring closer to home, discovering new restaurants, bookstores, and nature attractions throughout New England. 

To write we are more than fortunate to have Emily come aboard is an understatement.

The Importance of Having Fun

During patient consults, we talk about “the usual,” such as medication regimen, nourishment and movement. Depending on the patient, we might also discuss certain events in their life pertinent to these questions and delve into very specific pieces around sleep. These are topic areas and questions that you’d expect during a combined medicine for the mind and nutrition appointment. 


But there is room for a larger – and very important question. This bigger question that I have been asking patients (and myself), is ‘What are you doing for fun?’ 


I ask about fun because having fun and making sure we are striving for down time and balance in our busy and challenging lives is essential. It absolutely plays a role in our nourishment, movement and mental health. If the balance in our lives is off and skewed towards there being no fun, we have limited capacity for any kind of equilibrium.


I like to understand what my patient does for fun, as this helps me get a sense for who they are as an individual. I want to understand them and learn what their outlets, values and joys are.  


When I asked patients what they are doing for fun recently, these were some of the responses. Allow me to share them with you!

  • ‘My wife and I are throwing me a big birthday party – outside!’
  • ‘Taking walks with my dog.’
  • ‘Paying attention to myself in an appreciative non-judgemental way.’
  • ‘Dancing with my friends on the dance team.’
  • ‘Going to a concert.’

This was one of my favorites: ‘What is fun, Robyn?’ This brought on a full belly laugh out loud moment for me and my patient!

In asking my patients about what they do for fun, I realized that I needed to be having more fun myself. In working with patients and clients I truly believe if we are not doing work ourselves, we cannot be our best as clinicians. In order for me to ask about others in a way that cares for them, I need to be sure I’m also caring for me. 


Recently, for fun, I went to my first concert in two years! I love smaller venues and up-and- coming bands. A friend and I saw a group that I have been playing on repeat for months. We had a blast! 


What are you doing for fun? Has fun been a priority? If it hasn’t, try giving it the attention it deserves – you deserve it!