Emily Corwin PhD, BCBA
Emily Corwin, PhD, BCBA, is a licensed psychologist with the Pediatric Psychology group at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. She has lived in Alabama, Louisiana, and Maryland, earning her doctorate from Louisiana State University in 2014 and completing an internship and fellowship at Johns Hopkins University’s Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2014 and 2015. She moved to Knoxville in 2015, and now feels that Knoxville is home. Her husband is also a psychologist in the Knoxville area, and both of her children are Tennesseans. She worked at Cherokee Health Systems for about 5 years before beginning work at Children’s Hospital in 2020.
Emily primarily focuses her outpatient therapy work on preschool and school-aged children. She is certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and provides Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy as well. She also serves on many multidisciplinary teams at Children’s, providing assessment and intervention for very picky eaters, children and adolescents who are overweight or obese, and infants and young children who were exposed to drugs in utero. In addition, Emily provides support to the families of infants staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. She enjoys working closely with other providers and disciplines, and feels lucky to have had that opportunity in all of her roles while living in the beautiful city of Knoxville.
1. What was your first real job?:
My parents always tried to tell me that my first real job was being a student and going to school. If I could get paid to go to school – you better believe I would still be doing it! My first paid job was as a lifeguard and a swim instructor.
2. What has been your favorite book and why?:
Had you asked me a year ago, I would have said Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In the last year, I have read (an embarrassing number of times) a book called Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It has everything – astronomy, first contact plot-line, climate science, linguistics, and probably my favorite character ever written (and it’s not even the main character!). If you haven’t read it, and you like science fiction, do yourself a favor and check it out.
3. How do you describe your sense of humor?:
Quiet. Usually when I say something funny, the only person laughing is the person sitting next to me, because they’re the only one who heard it.
4. What's your current focus in your work?:
I find myself talking about acceptance a lot these days.
5. What kind of patient would you like to see more?:
Motivated ones. Don’t get me wrong – working to increase and improve on motivation is important, but when motivation is there from the beginning, the work just feels different.
6. What would you like KAPA to provide in the future?:
Social opportunities! I’m tied to two little ones, so it might be tricky to attend, but it would be great to get together and network socially a little more.
7. What guilty pleasure can you not live without?:
I couldn’t decide between Lindor Truffles and Reese’s peanut butter cups, so I’ll just put both.
8. Name two people who have inspired you?:
This question really stumped me, and not because I’m not inspired by others, but because I’m inspired by so many others. I had a hard time choosing between someone historical who I’ve never met and have no chance of meeting, or someone I know well in my personal life, or those I’ve crossed paths with briefly but who have left a lasting impact. For the purposes of these questions, I guess I’ll focus on inspiration in my work life. I have been and continue to be most inspired by a supervisor I had on internship, Dr. Stephanie Lee. She taught me the ins and outs of behavior therapy with children and family. During hard moments either behaviorally with a child or with their parents, I still ask myself “How would Stephanie handle this?” Also in my work life, I think I’m pretty inspired by my husband, Dr. Caleb Corwin, who is a fierce defender of what is right and true. When I need to be a bulldog for my patients, or for the truth, I try to channel Caleb.
9. What is a common point of frustration in your current work?:
Screens. Trying to convince parents to limit their children’s screen time, and that making this incredibly difficult change actually will have a positive impact on their child’s behavior, is a daily, never-ending battle. If I worked more with older children, I’m sure I would feel just as defeated about the battle against social media.
10. What’s one thing - either psychology related or not - you learned in the last month?:
My daughter, who has been learning about holidays in school, taught me that Sara Josepha Hale was the “mother of Thanksgiving” recently. I had never heard that name before. Ms. Hale was a magazine editor and a prominent writer in the mid-1800s, and she was a supporter of female education. I’m glad my daughter is learning about her in school.