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ABOUT page | Engage Psychiatric, San Francisco and Pasadena

Mental health challenges are a normal experience –

Around 20% of us in the US meet criteria for a diagnosis. My family, and many friends, have lived with these experiences. You may be able to say the same. Feeling whole and that your life is optimized is so much more than addressing your symptoms, it means achieving priorities and goals, being engaged in life, developing a sense of meaning, of community, having satisfaction and wellbeing, and a sense of effectiveness. My decision to practice psychiatry brought this into focus for me. I've been living my best life, for 20 years, and I can help you get there, too.


What was lacking for me 20 years ago was a whole-person approach to health and wellbeing, one that honored me as an individual, with my priorities intact, my body and habits as well as my mind, health promotion and disease prevention as a parallel goal, and good education to guide. And so in 2002 I left fifteen years providing art direction in the entertainment industry, and architectural services to homeowners, to study at the University of California San Francisco, where I was trained in real-world outpatient settings – rather than hospitals. I served medically and emotionally challenging clients, who taught me to take on complex problems. I earned board certification in psychiatry, and created this practice to be what I feel represents optimal care.


In addition to working with clients, I consult, publish, and speak in areas that inform treatment. Please see my CV for the depth and variety of medical, academic, and entrepreneurial experience that influences my clinical lens and decision-making.

I enjoy working with adult clients

who are creatives, who have technical minds, those who are thinkers and founders, who are particular, curious, sensitive, and motivated. I particularly admire individuals who have blended courage, vulnerability, and authenticity to describe their sense of self in the world, defining or redefining themselves to live as they do today. Those who carve their own path. I have extensive experience working with the LGBTQI community, as well as people of color, and those who have made the US a second home.

As your consultant, I work for you – we focus on your priorities, and the measurable results you are motivated for.

I take a whole-person, root cause approach that delivers enhanced resilience and renewed feelings of wellbeing beyond "good enough”. I strive for truly well, without side effects.


  • I have an extensive evidence-based knowledge base and toolkit – there is always a solution that can meet your unique biology and circumstances comfortably and effectively. I go over and above to help create results and wellness for my clients – we keep working until you are satisfied!

  • I actively coach around foundational health habits including sleep, exercise, nutrition, meditation, substance use, and habit-building

  • I have an interest in your physical health, from a functional (root cause) perspective

  • Remission alone is not wellness: I take a recovery-oriented perspective, measuring success not only by symptoms reduction, but by how my client is achieving priorities and goals, being engaged in life, developing a sense of meaning, community, satisfaction and wellbeing, and sense of effectiveness.

Cara Hoepner, Integrative Psychiatry – mood, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and sleep


University of California San Francisco
School of Nursing

  Masters of Science (MS)

  Clinical Nurse Specialist (CS)

  Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse

  Practitioner, Board Certified (PMHNP-BC)

Carnegie Mellon University
  College of Fine Arts
  Bachelor of Science (BS) 
  Theatrical Design

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