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Nils C. Westfall, MD

About Nils

Dr. Nils Westfall serves as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and department medical director for St John’s Health in Jackson. He is board certified in both child and adolescent psychiatry and general (adult) psychiatry. He has also been certified in psychodynamic psychotherapy and has spent a couple of years training in and practicing dialectical behavioral therapy.

He settled in Teton County with his family to become enveloped in the culture of mountain adventure and to bring much needed mental healthcare to the region.

In his last position, he worked as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and supervisor of 10 psychiatric providers for a large, multispecialty medical group in Colorado. While there, he also participated in research and took on other leadership roles.

Prior to that, he was chief fellow of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he also completed the general psychiatry residency program. He received his training program’s highest awards for resident education, professionalism, and psychotherapy, received awards from the Florida Psychiatric Society and American Psychiatric Association for research and scholarship, completed an exclusive fellowship with The American College of Psychiatrists, and published peer-reviewed journal and textbook literature.

Before leaving his home state of Minnesota to begin psychiatric training and explore the ocean in Miami, he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in neuroscience and genetics, cell biology, & development and completed medical school at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Westfall practices developmental, personalized psychiatry informed by the best available evidence. He believes that psychiatry is about helping people achieve their developmental goals and thrive in their work, play and love. The most rewarding part of psychiatry to him is assisting others to achieve levels of self-understanding and wellness they could not have known were possible. He suggests that if you remain curious about yourself, focus on your own self-improvement (instead of changing others), and drive through whatever may get in your way, it is overwhelmingly likely that you will succeed in treatment. He respects you as a partner in your health and looks forward to getting to know you.

Dr. Westfall’s general method is essentially this. He uses the initial assessment and follow-up appointments to identify your mental health problems and the core issues underlying them. He then breaks the core issues down for you in terms of which should be treated biologically (with medication or some other medical means) and which should be treated with psychotherapy (counseling).

If there are any issues that should be treated psychotherapeutically, Dr. Westfall will refer you to a psychotherapist (counselor), if you do not already have one.

If there are any issues that should be treated biologically, he guides you through the entire process of finding a treatment regimen that is both highly effective and tolerable. This can be quick and easy, but often it is not and, fortunately, it does not have to be for you to succeed. If you refuse to surrender, demand victory, and just keep following the steps that Dr. Westfall lays out for you, odds are that you will overcome any difficulties to find the solution.

The following quote, inspired by a trip to the Himalayas, captures the proper mindset for reaching the summit in psychiatric treatment:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”


― William Hutchison Murray (mountaineer and writer)

Education
  • Medical School
  • MD University of Minnesota Medical School
    Minneapolis, MN
    2013
  • Residency
  • Psychiatry (General) University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center
    Miami, FL
    2018
  • Fellowship
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center
    Miami, FL
    2017
Medical Interests Areas of Interest:

Certifications:

American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

  • Psychiatry - certified 9/2018
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - certified 9/2019