The Naval Branch Health Clinic at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head welcomed Dr. Damon J. Murphy, a clinical psychologist, aboard in November to provide counseling services. Murphy, who replaces Dr. Damon Silas as the on-staff counselor, is excited to reach his new community and comes with joint experience working with active duty military in all five branches of service.
Murphy was most recently on staff at Robins Air Force Base in Houston County, Ga., where he served as the primary clinician for the installation.
Prior to Robins AFB, Murphy provided counseling services at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax, Va., where he provided individual and group therapy sessions.
Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Murphy explained that it was during his adolescence that he was first cognizant of his desire to learn more about the human experience and drawn to the study of psychology.
“I grew up in Brooklyn,” Murphy explained. “Being exposed to some of the difficult conditions in that area where I lived made me question why people are the way they are and why things were the way they were. Also, how society has an impact on individuals and their interactions with others.”
Through his life experience, Murphy shared his realization that it was, in part, the societal impact that created many hurting individuals, especially if he or she is not connected to their inner world.
“That became a catalyst for me to try to heal wherever I can,” Murphy said.
Murphy received his Doctorate from Argosy University in Washington, D.C. in 2011 and performed his clinical internship through Howard University with rotations at Howard University Hospital and the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Murphy is looking forward to provide a safe environment where clients can explore and work through concerns and issues.
“I want to provide a place for my clients to operate in the healthiest way they possibly can,” Murphy said. “Giving them the space to really do the work, not just for what happens here but in their lives in a larger scope. I’d like to assist them by giving them the tools they need to better deal with issues and the space to feel safe to work through it.”
Murphy explained that there are often issues from one’s past that can affect one’s present work and allowing clients the space to do the necessary reflection goes a long way towards a healthier life.
At his previous commands, Murphy said he had clients tell him that they had not previously shared so much of their lives with anyone else.
“That tells me that people are carrying a lot of things around that they aren’t processing,” Murphy said.
That also speaks to Murphy’s ability to provide clients with the reassurance that they are in a safe enough environment that they can share the issues that they would like to work through.
“Safety is truly paramount in a successful therapy relationship,” Murphy said.
Murphy credits his successful transition into the command with the assistance of Joanna Aninakwah, psychiatric technician.
“She has really helped to bridge the gap between Dr. Silas’ time here and my arrival,” Murphy said. “A lot of what I am able to do well here is because of her.”
When not on duty, Murphy enjoys movies, especially a good psychological thriller, as well as independent films.
“I enjoy films that tell a real story without a lot of unnecessary violence,” Murphy said.
Murphy shared that one of the things in his life he is most proud of is his education and the ability to use his education to help others.
“The opportunity to achieve academically is not one I take lightly,” Murphy shared. “Then, to have the ability to use that education to help others build better lives is one of the things I am most proud of.”
Dr. Murphy is available Monday through Friday at the Naval Branch Health Clinic and is looking forward to working with the activity duty Sailors and Marines. To schedule an appointment contact the clinic’s appointment line at 301-744-4686.