Kelly J. Cleaves, DO
Physician, Adult Psychiatry
Dr. Kelly Cleaves joined the Mind Matters, PC team in 2017 after completing her Adult Psychiatry Residency and Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the Portland VA Medical Center. She originally hails from the Midwest and completed her medical degree in Southern California. It was difficult for her to decide between all the interesting medical specialties, but she is very happy to have found her calling in Psychiatry.
At Mind Matters, Dr. Cleaves primarily sees adult patients, although occasionally will see mature 17-year-old patients who have good communication with their patients. While Dr. Cleaves is board certified in Geriatric Psychiatry, she is not seeing patients over age 62 at this time as Mind Matters currently does not accept Medicare patients. Please note she is accepting new patients (ages 17-62) for medication management only as her therapy slots are full at this time. However, Dr. Cleaves does highly encourage patients to seek out therapy whether it is through an internal referral here at Mind Matters, or elsewhere in the community. Individuals can search for therapists via insurance company websites or at psychologytoday.com. If you are interested in seeing Dr. Cleaves for medication management, please contact the Mind Matters intake coordinator, as Dr. Cleaves does not communicate with potential patients prior to their initial 75-minute intake session.
Dr. Cleaves often gets asked what her degree, a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.), means. It is equal to an M.D. in terms of training and privileges but also incorporates manipulation of the musculoskeletal system (similar to a chiropractor) and a holistic approach to care to best treat a patient. While she does not provide this hands-on treatment, she recommends patients seek out these specialists when needed.
Regarding holistic care, Dr. Cleaves recognizes the importance of pharmaceutical medications in many situations, but does generally prefer to minimize medication burden and encourages her patients to regularly engage in healthy lifestyle interventions, such as getting 8-9 hours of sleep each night, being physically and socially active, limiting alcohol and drugs (including THC), practicing mindfulness, self-compassion, self-care, optimizing nutrition, and engaging in psychotherapy. Doing all these regularly can be very helpful in improving mental illness and mental well-being, at times more than medications can. Dr. Cleaves does not practice naturopathy or other forms of treatment but does work with patients who are undergoing alternative therapies with other providers. She often requests patients become familiar with Dr. Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability, at least via her TEDx Huston talk, but preferably by reading Daring Greatly, which is also offered as an audiobook read by the author.
Aside from lifestyle interventions, Dr. Cleaves usually recommends patients have up-to-date labs (TSH, Free T4, CBC, CMP, vitamin D, RBC Magnesium, B12, folate) with their primary care provider to ensure there are no other bodily processes interfering with psychological wellness. New patients may have these ordered ahead of time or bring in the results to save time initially. If indicated, Dr. Cleaves may recommend pharmacogenomic testing (a cheek swab) to see how genetics affect the way medications work in the body and subsequently whether different medications or doses may be indicated.
Dr. Cleaves cares very much for her patients and wants them to be successful in life, so she has set boundaries regarding the care she can provide. Operating outside these limits would compromise her ability to continue practicing within the current medical system. These boundaries are primarily around time, particularly limiting contact outside appointment times, which are generally 25 minutes for follow-ups. She sometimes has same or next-day appointments available if issues arise and can engage in appointments via telephone if needed. Please contact the front desk to schedule any appointments as Dr. Cleaves does not have the ability to do so.
When she’s not working, Dr. Cleaves enjoys her downtime with friends and family, plays with her pets, sleeps, decorates, listens to educational & Harry Potter audio books, watches movies, shows, and Ted Talks. She savors Oregon cuisine, attends Portland’s festivals, concerts, travels (although not as much as she’d like) and tries to live in a mindful way.