“Growing through the complexities and nuances of the human experience to accept myself unapologetically led me to want to help others through their journey.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
People — whether it is in history books, in movies, or in person — intrigue me. What makes us think, behave, and feel has always been a question I want answered. I had plenty of subjects growing up, as I am one of six children and have an even larger extended family. As a kid, I was bullied and painfully shy yet remained social and open. I was a black girl who grew up in a monoethnic enclave, wrestling between who I am and who the world wanted me to be. I lived through major losses and adjustments yet had so many triumphs. Growing through the complexities and nuances of the human experience to accept myself unapologetically led me to want to help others through their journey. After getting a BA in psychology and women’s studies from Pace University, I knew a degree in social work was for me.
What should someone know about working with you?
This is a judgment-free, energizing, and revitalizing zone. This process is one that takes a lot of courage to begin, so come with no pretense. Our time together will go as fast or slow as you'd like, but I will gently challenge you to turn over every stone so you can look in the mirror at the end of our journey smiling wide and feeling free. Come with questions and your notepad! I love working with anyone who is willing to open their mind and heart in order to take a chance on their future.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I'm so excited about the inclusivity, expansion, and the many different intersections the mental health landscape is touching. Humanity as a whole is beginning to prioritize mental and emotional health as much as we do our physical health. It is so amazing to see the stigma melt away. It also warms my heart that older adults, men, BIPOC individuals, celebrities, and so many more are discussing all the ways trauma can affect us WITHOUT shame or guilt. This is how we break generational curses and lead healthier lives. This is how we change history!
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
This field doesn't move forward if we aren't researching, writing, and reading. I have presented on the intersectionality of trauma, aging, and race at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College's Aging Conference. I am also a co-author of an article that documented the effects of COVID-19 on the emotional wellness of those at a major medical center. It has pushed me to look at the clinical work I do from a 30,000 foot view, recognizing that the micro affects the macro. It pushes me to be a better clinician, as I am learning new treatment modalities, hearing different perspectives, and holding myself accountable to the field at large.
“Our time together will go as fast or slow as you'd like, but I will gently challenge you to turn over every stone so you can look in the mirror at the end of our journey smiling wide and feeling free.”