Social Media & Mental Health

with Tracy Cavaligos, PsyD and Olivia McDonald, PsyD

Social Media & Mental Health

Episode 16, Season 3 | March 15, 2023

Show Notes

A 2022 Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 80% of 13-17 year-olds check at least one social media feed at least hourly, and over a third said they did so “almost constantly.” How can we develop healthy social media practices that support, not hinder, our mental health? In today’s podcast episode, CHC’s Catherine T. Harvey Center for Clinical Services experts Dr. Tracy Cavaligos, Licensed Psychologist and Dr. Olivia McDonald, Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, talk about how to manage social media’s influence and develop skills to check-in with and take care of ourselves.

Guest Info
Tracy Cavaligos headshot

Dr. Tracy Cavaligos (she/her/hers) has dedicated her career to working holistically with children, adolescents, young adults and their families to support their mental health. She strives to provide compassionate and collaborative therapeutic care to youth and their families in managing anxiety, mood concerns, ADHD, relational difficulties, adjusting to life transitions including chronic medical diagnoses and adherence, gender and sexuality support and identity development. Tracy has continually sought specialized training in order to provide developmentally appropriate, affirmative and supportive mental health care to youth with chronic illnesses (such as GI disorders, cancer, and diabetes) and gender diverse youth. She also provides comprehensive psychological assessments for youth with attention and learning concerns.


She completed her undergraduate training at the University of San Francisco majoring in Psychology and Child and Youth Studies. Following her work in residential mental health centers in the Bay Area she continued her education at Pacific University’s School of Graduate Psychology in Oregon, where she earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Child and Adolescent Care. She completed her internship at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center with focused training on outpatient therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, care of gender diverse youth, psychological assessment, and Teen Parenting Program in multidisciplinary health clinics. Following internship Tracy completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Children’s Hospital of Orange County providing specialized outpatient therapy, psychological assessments and Oncological Consultation Liaison services.


In her time outside of the office Tracy enjoys baking, reading fantasy novels, trying to keep her plants alive, practicing yoga and taking way too many pictures of her puppy.

Olivia McDonald headshot

Olivia is a postdoctoral fellow in Clinical Psychology with experience providing therapy and assessment to children, adolescents and families with difficulties including anxiety, depression, ADHD and individuals with developmental delays among other behavior and mood disorders. Her previous clinical training includes psychotherapy informed by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), interpersonal, psychodynamic, attachment and play therapy techniques in a variety of settings. Olivia also has a background in utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and sand tray approaches. She additionally has spent several years training in and providing diagnostic, developmental and behavioral assessments.


Olivia earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from JFK School of Psychology at National University and wrote her dissertation about the impact of social media on mental health stigma in young adults.


Outside of work, Olivia enjoys painting, hiking, taking her dogs to beaches and parks, and all things outdoors!