Liz Garone
January 24, 2023
Clinician Spotlight - Thomas Rankin

Dr. Thomas Rankin always assumed he would become a lawyer like his father. After majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate, he went to Stanford Law School, graduated and passed the California Bar exam.

“But law never really spoke to me,” he says.

Rather it was interacting with people that made him feel the most connected. “I’ve always had a good connection with people. I was the person that everyone would turn to and tell their problems to and I could empathize with them. When I got into those kinds of conversations, those are things that made me feel really good. They made me feel like my real talents were being used.”

This realization eventually led Dr. Rankin to graduate school for a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and finally a PhD in Counseling Psychology. During an internship with Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Services department, he had the opportunity to help students with their mental health struggles in an easy access model. This experience helped pave the way for the work he does today at Happier Living: giving working people affordable (often just a copay) access to high quality mental health care.

Dr. Rankin came to Happier Living in 2015 and first worked for the organization as a contract therapist. Today, he still sees clients but is also Happier Living’s director of psychology. One of his favorite aspects is the management piece – and how he gets to solve different problems everyday.

“One of the things I didn't love about facing the prospect of a career in the law is you do one thing, you have that skill, and then you have a different case,” he says. “But as you're trying to build a business that has clinical care at the heart of it, every day is different and I get to interact with a whole bunch of different people. Not just clinician interaction, but there's also a lot of interactions with support staff and operations staff and getting to know people and working as a team and collaborating and trying to build something together.”

The fact that he is still at the company all these years later is a testament to the quality of care Happier Living clinicians offer to their clients, the extensive training Dr. Rankin and his staff provide to the clinicians, and the vision of Happier Living’s founder Dr. Lawrence Genen.

“I'm excited to be a part of this organization, because psychotherapy is something that should be the bedrock of medical professionals’ interactions with their clients,” says Dr. Rankin. It is an approach that is thriving at Happier Living. “You get better client outcomes when you see your clients more often and you don't over prescribe medication because you try other psychotherapeutic approaches before you go to medication, and that really resonates with me,” he says.

“It is just a better model of care.”

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