CAREGIVER OF INTEREST
Treasure Coast Medical Report
As a long-distance runner, psychologist Phil Cromer
spends a lot of time thinking. He thinks about mental
illness and the snowball effect it has in society. He
thinks about the effects of recent isolation and quarantines.
He thinks about ways to counsel those feeling the pressure
and abnormality of the times.
And he even thinks about the tricks his own mind plays
when he’s sleep deprived on a 100-mile trek. But, running
gives him the balance and understanding to treat any
number of mental illnesses he sees as the staff psychologist
and chief clinical officer at the Mental Health Association in
Indian River County.
Born on Long Island, NewYork, Cromer moved with his
family to Jensen Beach in the 1980s where he attended Stuart
Middle School and Martin County High School. He quickly
adapted to being a typical Florida boy, surfing, skating and
playing high school sports. It was during the visits to Vero
Beach with his soccer and football teams that he fell in love
with the area and knew he’d someday end up living there.
KERRY FIRTH PHOTOS
Even as a child, Cromer was level headed, methodical and
always eager to fix whatever trouble came his way. He had
a natural inclination to help others so it seemed like he was
destined to become a counselor of some sort, he just wasn’t
sure about which direction he’d take.
“I initially wanted to become a lawyer and help people
from that perspective, but after graduating from Florida Atlantic
University in Boca Raton and being accepted to Nova
Law School, I had an epiphany that I wanted to help people
more directly,” Cromer explained. “I turned down law school
and chose to go into psychology and I feel like this is where I
am supposed to be.”
Cromer went on to receive his masters in counseling and
doctorate in counseling psychology at West Virginia University.
During his time in Morgantown, West Virginia, he
worked with his peers and the community as a student psychotherapist
gaining experience in treatments for depression,
anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance abuse and personality
disorders. He also had the opportunity to work with
Philip Cromer, chief clinical officer for the Mental Health Association in Indian River County, says helping a client on the road to recovery is the most
rewarding aspect of his career.
BY KERRY FIRTH