About Dr. Patty

Patricia Leigh Bay, Psy.D. is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist with a private practice in Redding, California. Since 1979 she has loved working with children, adolescents, adults, families and relationships. Prior to private practice, she worked for Child Protective Services doing sexual abuse investigation and is considered an expert witness in court proceedings. Patricia enjoys conducting trainings and workshops to pass onto others what she has learned. Married since 1980, Patricia and her husband have two daughters.


Correction: please note that Patricia Bay is not a psychiatrist. This was an error on the part of the author of the following Record Searchlight article. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in psychiatry. Dr. Bay is not a medical doctor. She is a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist with a doctorate in psychology. Please excuse the error as it was not intentional by the author, Mr. Benda.

Dr. Patricia Bay, photo by Mike Greener / Record Searchlight
Photo by Mike Greener / Record Searchlight

HAPPY TUNE: Patricia Bay plays the flute to relax from her busy schedule, which includes operating a psychology practice and, within the past year, planning her two daughters' weddings.

In the Key of Life

Family, music and love guide psychiatrist in harried times

By David Benda
Redding Record Searchlight, Friday, May 4, 2007  [Original Article]

A year ago, Redding therapist Patricia Bay was in the middle of planning weddings for both of her daughters — they were married three months apart — and going to school for her doctorate in psychology.

What's more, she continued her marriage and family counseling business downtown, a practice she's had in Redding for some 20 years. Bay, 52, also is a superior court designated expert witness in sexual abuse cases in California, Nevada and Colorado.

Friends point to last year as an example of Bay's drive and dedication.

"No easy task," longtime friend Brenda Becker said. "They were trying to make sure both daughters had a nice wedding, and they got married three months apart. Needless to say, it was a little hectic."

But she pulled it off — two weddings and a doctorate.

Tara and Joseph Mack were married March 31. Ashley and Danny Cheatham said their vows June 30. The Macks live in Redding and have a 6-month-old daughter, Allison Ashleigh; the Cheathams live in Silverdale, Wash.

Longtime friend Sandra Clark, a Redding attorney, said Bay is simply a kind person.

"She is always helping people, even outside of her profession. If they have problems, she will see them through it, being patient and helping them grow," Clark said.

Bay's husband, Richard, said his wife has never crashed under the pressure of everyday life and operating a successful business.

"She's a tough cookie," Richard Bay said. "If she'd played golf . . . she'd be the type who could get to that tee, with thousands of people watching her, and hit the perfect drive."

Richard Bay is a private practice lawyer who specializes in juvenile cases, representing children in divorces, drug issues and abandonment. Conflict of interest issues mean the Bays' paths have never crossed in court.

"We don't talk about cases because of confidentiality issues. Besides, by the time we get home, we don't want to talk," Richard Bay says with a chuckle.

Despite jobs that can be emotionally wrenching, the Bays feel blessed to be in professions that help people, often leading them to better lives.

"The thing that helps me get out of bed in the morning is I really feel like I am contributing to the well-being of these children. It's the same way with Patty. She feels like she's the cog in the wheel of helping people," Richard Bay said.

The Bays were married in 1980 and moved to Redding about a year later.

Before opening her own practice, Patty Bay worked for Shasta County Child Protective Services, where she specialized in sexual abuse investigations. She worked five years for CPS.

In 1998, Bay wrote "Therapy in a Nutshell: 10 Simple Lessons that will Change Your Life." The book is available at A Charming Little Shoppe & Java on Buenaventura Boulevard in Redding, Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Redding and online at Amazon.com. The book features 10 chapters, or lessons, including an epilogue that gives readers a snapshot of each lesson.

Bay remembers the book's idea coming to her one night in bed. She jumped awake and started writing and didn't finish until 18 months later.

"I would wake up at 3 a.m. and write. The energy was there to get it done," Bay said.

Learning how to let go of fear so you can love others and yourself will lead to peace of mind, Bay extols in the book.

"All lessons lead to one place — a place of Love. Learning to see this road and walk its path is that primary purpose in our life. This is the 'Road to Love.' Let all that we do be done in Love," Bay writes.

"Therapy in a Nutshell" is used as a textbook at Shasta College, Bay said.

Bay wants her therapy clients to be just as driven.

In 2004, Redding and surrounding Shasta County ranked as the nation's eighth most stressful place to live in comparison with other small cities, an analysis of health, economic and social factors found. A Portland researcher who compiled the list noted that the north state's high rates of divorce and unemployment helped the area achieve its dubious ranking.

"I think it's everywhere," Bay said of divorce. "I think society has moved to a thought process where you don't have to stay married. If you're not happy, move on."

In addition to her book, Bay produced a compendium video "Earth School."

"My belief system is that we come here to learn and listen and we do the best we can," Bay said of the DVD.

A classically trained flutist who also enjoys clogging (a percussive folk dance), Bay has made a career of doing her best. She also plays the piano and piccolo. Recently, she started playing the Native American flute. This summer she will attend a workshop in Montana by noted Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai.

For years, Bay coached her daughters' clogging team at Grant School in west Redding. Bay and her husband also were part of the Shasta County Cloggers for some 10 years.

"We were known as the Bay Family Cloggers," she said.

Music and dance have always been a big part of the Bays' lives.

Patricia Bay's parents, Jack Young, 81, and Elaine Young, 79, for years owned and operated a square dance business in Granada Hills. The couple, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month, moved to Redding in 1991.

"I credit them for giving me the foundation, love and support to succeed," Bay said of her parents.

The Bays' youngest daughter Ashley, 19, plays the piano and harp. Oldest daughter Tara, 24, is a singer who used to be lead vocalist for the Redding band Turning Point.

Richard Bay is a drummer who played in the band Torpedoes.

"Life goes by so quickly. In the wink of the eye your kids grow up," Richard Bay said. "We are thankful for the fact we can experience this because we have friends who lost their kids to a variety of things. We are very fortunate."

Reporter David Benda can be reached at 225-8219 or at dbenda {at} redding.com.