Leigh is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who believes psychiatric nursing should be a priority with client care. She has over four decades of experience in working with trauma related issues, eating disorders, addictions, and psychological bariatric evaluations. Her educational profile includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pittsburg State University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Wichita State University and a post-master’s in psychiatric nursing from Washburn University. She is Board Certified as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. When working for 22 years at The Menninger Clinic in Topeka, KS her nursing positions were as staff nurse, charge nurse, evening nursing supervisor and nurse manager for the eating disorders/trauma recovery program and the professionals in crisis program, which included an addiction program, and reopening of the eating disorders program. Her nurse manager position ended with The Menninger Clinic moving to Houston, Texas in 2003. This is when she opened her private practice. Leigh provides psychotropic medication management and/or individual psychotherapy and psychological bariatric evaluation services for individuals over age 16. Since May 2021, she helped design, and is currently co-teaching the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Foundations - Roles- Issues – Ethical - Legal Principles online course for Graceland University (Independence, MO location).
Her passion in her work with psychiatric clients includes the professional motto element by Ken Poirot “to be proactive and not reactive.” She draws upon the theoretical framework models of the “Interpersonal Relationship” by the pioneer nursing theorist, Hildegard Peplau, and the “Here and Now” approach by the pioneer in existential psychotherapy, Irvin Yalom. Her interest in psychiatric nursing has included a tour in 1984 of various facilities in four cities in China, was involved with the grassroots level with Kansas being chartered by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), held the first president elect and second president positions with the Kansas Psychiatric Nurses Association (KPNA), and in 2005 her clinical exemplar model of a psychiatric nurse working with an eating disorder client was published in “Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing” 8th edition by Gail Stuart and Michele Laraia. To adjunct her educational studies, Leigh completed five years of individual psychotherapy supervised training concepts, in addition to two years of group psychotherapy instruction, which were provided by various talented Menninger clinicians when she worked at The Menninger Clinic. She is also involved with the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Committee for St. Francis General, Vascular & Bariatric Surgery (KU-Ardent) in Topeka, KS to represent the role of psychiatric mental health care.