Sonja V. Batten, Ph.D.

Cues and Views

Leader with heart Sonja Batten, in brief.

Sonja V. Batten, Ph.D.

Home: New Orleans, LA.  Profession: Licensed clinical psychologist and executive coach. Organization: Stop Soldier Suicide.  Title: Vice President of Programs.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Alma mater: University of Georgia; University of Nevada, Reno.  

Recent professional development: Joining Stop Soldier Suicide as Vice President of Programs. Latest contribution to others: Writing a letter of grad school recommendation for a junior colleague.  Hobbies: Dance, Pilates, improv.  Most exciting travel accomplishment: Visiting all seven continents!  Recent unique acquisition: Limited edition reissue Shasta Airflyte vintage camper.

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Compassionate.  Moral compass: You can never go wrong by choosing kindness.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Someone who knows your whole history and appreciates you even more because of it. What word or phrase do you use far too often? Awesome.  What natural talent have you neglected? Learning and speaking foreign languages.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Egypt.  What is your go-to workout? Cardio dance classes.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Plenty of great books.

What was your favorite college course? History of Religion in the United States.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? The Shawshank Redemption.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My own artwork.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? Start an IRA at 18.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Ignore that person’s feedback – it’s sexist.  What is your go-to source of news and information? The Washington Post.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Walking the streets of New Orleans.  

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

De-stigmatizing mental health problems so that more people seek help.

What change would you like to see in the world? Companies and countries making genuine efforts to prevent further climate change.  What message do you want to send out into the world? We can all learn by appreciating other people’s perspectives.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Our fixation on our smart phones and social media.

What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Jodie Foster.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My father.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A teacher.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Old photos.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? College.  I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get through it.

Personal mission: Alleviating human suffering.  Favorite quote: “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die” (George Bernard Shaw).

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