The 3East Girls Intensive and Step-Down Programs at McLean Hospital provide intensive treatment for girls, ages 13-21, whose complicated stories include trauma, self-injury and other challenging psychiatric conditions. Frequently, these patients arrive at McLean with a long history of failed treatment and their parents have often lost hope.
In her role as the program’s medical director, Sophia L. Maurasse, MD, brings to her work the unique combination of highly skilled clinical expertise, an understanding of the full range of human behavior and an extraordinary capacity for compassion.
Dr. Maurasse joined the 3East staff in 2013 after completing an initial rotation there as part of her MGH-McLean child psychiatry fellowship. When the fellowship ended, she chose to return and since then has dedicated her career to the compassionate care of teens and young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, emerging borderline personality disorder, and a host of other complex psychiatric conditions.
“Sophia opens her heart to the most complicated, challenging, and often self-destructive patients at 3East. Her incredible attunement allows her to balance compassion and acceptance for some of the deepest struggles and destructive behaviors, while at the same time pushing adolescents and their parents to open their eyes to change in ways that, for many, they never imagined possible,” says a colleague.
She is known for her extraordinary care and the quiet empathic way she engages with patients, instilling trust and making it possible to reach some of the most difficult-to-reach patients. Her calm and compassionate demeanor provides a safe place for her patients to feel supported and understood, fostering hope for them and their families.
“On our team, compassionate care means we recognize that even in their most difficult moments, our patients are doing the best they can. This requires us to approach patients with respect and dignity and to be diligent not just in our speech but also in our own behavior with them and each other,” says Dr. Maurasse. “Every day, we willingly enter this space, knowing that to be close enough to treat our patients we also get close enough to be vulnerable.”
Beyond her work in the clinical domain, Dr. Maurasse is a member of the Schwartz Rounds Committee and in that capacity, has shared her own story of growing up in war-torn Liberia, opening the door for other clinicians to discuss how their very diverse backgrounds impact their work.
In the words of a colleague, “Without question, Sophia has profoundly impacted the lives of the individuals and families she has worked with, not to mention the numerous ways she has influenced the lives and work of her colleagues and trainees.”