Certificate Program Profile Series: Dr. Michelle Pearce
Michelle Pearce, Ph.D.
Program Director, Integrative Health and Wellness Certificate Program
Program Director, Aging and Applied Thanatology Certificate Program
Program Director, Science Communication Certificate Program
B.A. in Psychology and English Literature, Waterloo University
M.S. and M.Phil in Clinical Psychology, Yale University
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Yale University
Licensed to Practice Psychology, Maryland, Active
Board Certification in Health and Wellness Coaching, Institute for Life Coaching
Certified Provider in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Quality Rated, Duke University
Michelle Pearce is originally from Ontario, Canada. Her first job as a teenager involved delivering manure one summer to several of her parents’ friends. “Believe it or not, it was a great job,” she reflected. “It paid well, and I had amazing arm muscles by the end of the summer!” Michelle can’t remember a time she didn’t want to become an educator. When she started elementary school, she would come home in the afternoon and teach her younger brother everything she had learned that day. “By the time he started school, he was bored because he knew all the material,” she laughed.
Michelle has been studying and practicing integrative medicine for well over a decade. Her research interests range from religion, spirituality, and health to integrative medicine. In her recent book, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression: A Tool-Based Primer., she explores the integration of religion into cognitive behavioral therapy and depression.
Michelle has been an assistant professor with the Graduate School and School of Medicine since 2012. She is the director of three of the Graduate School’s online certificate programs: Aging and Applied Thanatology, Integrative Health and Wellness, and Scientific Communication. She is also a clinical psychologist and faculty member in the Center for Integrative Medicine on campus, and serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University.
Michelle has always believed in the important role the mind and spirit play in the achievement and maintenance of physical health, but it wasn’t until she was introduced to integrative medicine that she realized there was a whole system of thought and practice that supported her conviction. Her interest in that field is made clear by her engagement with the new Integrative Health and Wellness certificate program. Science Communication is another passion; she is enthusiastic about helping others learn how to discuss science and their own research with others, stating, “one of the ways we can make the world a better place is by being able to compellingly and accurately share the good work we’re doing.”
Her favorite pastime is dancing, especially salsa and bachata. Additionally, she enjoys hiking in the woods, writing, and curling up with a good book. She suggests adding Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to your reading list. She loves and lives by Ernest Hemingway’s quote: "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
Learn more about the 100% online certificate programs Michelle directs: