Dr. Patricia Elder is a leader and visionary for delivery of comprehensive mental health services in the Greater Caribbean region. After completing a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at Temple University, USA, Dr. Elder provided psychological services to in a variety of settings including, Clinical Director of a drug and alcohol residential treatment facility, staff psychologist at a private psychiatric institution, senior staff psychologist at her alma mater and an EAP service provider. In 1992 Dr. Elder was invited to serve as a Consultant to UNESCO providing training to guidance officers for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. During the consultancy, she became acutely aware of the multiple barriers to mental health care access in Trinidad and Tobago and the region.
In 1993, Dr. Elder founded Elder Associates Limited, a company that has provided comprehensive psychological services, specializing in the design and implementation of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) for more than twenty years. Initially established in Trinidad and Tobago, the company has expanded services throughout the Greater Caribbean region, with a model of service delivery that has been replicated by smaller practices in the private sector. The Employee Assistance Model has allowed individuals impacted by mental health concerns, family stress and social problems to gain access to counselling, psychiatric treatment, and referrals to supportive networks locally. Adherence to strict standards of professionalism with emphasis on confidentiality of the service has contributed to the lowering of the barriers of access to care.
In January 2013, Elder Associates Limited was accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) as an EAP Service Provider. The COA’s programme of quality improvement is designed to identify providers that have met high performance standards and have made a commitment to their stakeholders to deliver the very best quality services. COA recognized Elder Associates Limited as one of the outstanding providers of EAP Services in Trinidad and Tobago.
Elder Associates Limited (EAL) offered seminars on Employee Assistance Programmes in collaboration with Dr. Dale Masi of Masi Research Consultants Inc., Boston, USA. In 2003 EAL celebrated its 10th anniversary with internationally renowned spiritual teacher and life coach, Iyanla Vanzant and in 2013 celebrated its 20th anniversary with Dr. Deepak Chopra as the feature speaker on the ‘Future of Well Being’. The Company hosted most recently Dr. Gerald Lewis, international Trauma Specialist and Presenter at a seminar entitled ‘Traumas, Tragedies and Transitions’.
Dr. Elder is also the Regional Director for the Caribbean for the Institute for Forensic Psychology (IFP), providing pre-employment evaluations of law enforcement personnel. She is the Founder/Director of the Dr. J.D. Elder Collection Foundation in memory of the legacy of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. J.D. Elder. The aim of the Foundation is to preserve the works of Dr. J.D. Elder, a recognized national icon, making his archive accessible to students of ethnomusicology, anthropology, folklore and culture.
Dr. Elder obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1979 she was one of the first persons from the Caribbean to obtain a Ph.D. from this programme. She is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and member of the Trinidad and Tobago branch of the International Women’s Forum. Dr. Elder recently began serving on the Advisory Committee of the Heroes Foundation in her homeland. She has also been accepted as a Peer Reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA), USA.
Her professional expertise includes individual and group psychotherapy, clinical supervision, training and psychodiagnostics. Dr. Elder is a member of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association and The American Psychological Association.
Her publications include “EAP and Public Service Reform” and “The Expanding Role of EAPs”. She was published in Dr. Dale Masi’s first and second editions of “International Employee Assistance Anthology”. For several years Dr. Elder appeared weekly on the national television station of Trinidad and Tobago (TTT)’s Dateline, in an interactive mental health segment and a regular presenter on talk radio.