Dr Van Den Berg is a psychiatrist practising in Surrey, British Columbia.
What profession might you have pursued, if not medicine?
Mathematician, editor, or librarian.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to open my mouth and sing powerfully and beautifully.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Who are your heroes?
My grandmother; my patients who get up every morning and face another day despite adversity.
What is your greatest fear?
Some harm coming to my children.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The fact that I have to work so hard to feel good enough.
What characteristic do your favorite patients share?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I am uncomfortable with the concept of “perfect.” As close as possible would be my whole family around a table under the trees eating lunch, talking, and drinking wine.
What is your favorite activity?
Reading story books.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Let’s take a step back.
What medical advance do you most anticipate?
Psychiatric medication with fewer side effects.
What is your most marked characteristic?
On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t lie, I embellish.
What do you most value in your colleagues?
Hard work, transparency, honesty.
Who are your favorite writers?
Depends on who I am reading at present; Wally Lamb, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Joanna Trollope.
What is your greatest regret?
Waiting until 30 before going into psychotherapy.
How would you like to die?
As an old lady, in my own bed.
What is your motto?
I have a few: Just because I can, does not mean I have to. Do first, apologize later. When in doubt, push harder.