Written by Alexander Eckinger
Dr. Danielle Kamis said she always wanted to start her own practice, and in August the psychiatrist did just that in downtown Los Altos.
Opening a private practice “gives me the freedom and flexibility to be able to practice the way that I see best,” Kamis said. “I don’t have a limit to the number of hours I see a patient.”
The Los Altos resident specializes in sports psychiatry, sleep medicine, women’s wellness, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
“I’m really all about a more holistic approach in viewing exercise, sleep and the whole person – rather than just … giving them medicine to go home with,” she said.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kamis came to California to do her residency in psychiatry at Stanford University, from which she graduated in June. Kamis earned an undergraduate degree in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, then completed her medical degree at the University of South Florida, where she secured grants to study and work with an indigenous population in Argentina.
“I’ve always had a focus on global health, and working and volunteering around the world,” she said, noting that she is fluent in Spanish.
Kamis described herself as “pretty open and welcoming” when it comes to who she works with.
She was captain of the fencing team at UPenn, which helps explain her interest in sports psychiatry and exercise.
“Sports psychiatry is looking at all the particular psychiatric or psychological problems in regards to an athlete,” she said. “Some of those things are performance and learning different skills either mindfulness-based or meditation, or just certain practices or habits that you can form to train your brain and mind to be at their peak performance.”
Kamis is one of three co-editors of a sports psychiatry manual. The book discusses 18 sports, what makes each of them unique, describes the difference between sports psychiatry and sports psychology, and explains how to diagnose and treat psychiatric illnesses in athletes.
“I work with athletes anywhere from not competing … up to Olympians,” she said. “All different levels or ages.”
According to Kamis, Los Altos had a need for the services her practice provides.
“I feel like there’s so much stress in the area and people that really could use my help,” she said.
Getting her name out there was one of the hardest parts about opening her practice in Los Altos, Kamis said, but she’s glad to have discovered so many like-minded people “who have the same goals of community building.”
Kamis’ practice is located at 164 Main St., Suite 201. For more information, visit kamismd.com.