Welcome to Well Acquainted … a weekly series dedicated to the amazing clinicians at Well Clinic
This week, we’re featuring a Q&A session with Dr. Ariel Shidlo, a Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Director at Well Clinic.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Portugal, and then grew up in Spain and Israel. I spent most of my adult life in Manhattan and Paris.
What is your favorite place?
My favorite place is actually a drive: Route 1, between San Francisco and Big Sur. The windy roads with the cliffs and trees on every side never fail to put a big smile on my face. And then you get Big Sur at the end. Supranatural place.
What are 6 things you can’t live without?
- Dark chocolate.
- My friends.
- My cats.
- A beautiful park nearby.
What are five albums you’d want with you if you were stuck on a deserted island?
- Janis Joplin: Pearl
- Tom Waits: Real Gone
- Glenn Gould: Anything Bach
- Maria Callas: Singing the opera Carmen
- Joni Mitchell: Hejira
What cause are you most passionate about?
Helping people get a fair chance at political asylum.
People who flee persecution and apply for asylum without an attorney have a chance of being allowed to stay in the U.S. in the single digits. Add an attorney in the mix, and their chances jump up to about 40 percent. Throw in a psychologist, and they have 80 percent of a chance.
Psychologists translate a jumble of dark experiences that are hard to talk about, into the language that immigration judges speak.
Recently I volunteered on a pair of asylum cases of siblings from Honduras: a 12 year girl and her 14 year old brother. They were on a three month journey from Honduras to the U.S all on their own. I was awed by their resilience and courage. If they get a chance to stay here, I’m pretty certain they will make amazing contributions to this country.
Do you have any talents that few people know about? If so, what are they?
Scuba diving. I also love playing chamber music with friends. I’m on the piano.
What is your favorite movie?
Big Business, with Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin.
What is your favorite food?
What was your favorite toy as a child?
Please introduce us to your pets.
Charlie the intrepid feline. He is teaching me how to walk him on a leash.
Name one guilty pleasure … past or present.
Watching BravoTV after a hard day at work.
What’s one fun thing that you wish you could do more of?
Swim. I would design a pool with a little warm area where you can go right in without having to dare yourself to jump into the cold water.
Learn more about Ariel’s professional background as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Well Clinic.