“I am highly-skilled and strategy-based in my treatment methodology and I greatly enjoy teaching parents how to communicate more effectively with and relate more powerfully to their children.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I decided early on that I wanted to do clinical work and my professional path began after I graduated from New York University with my MSW in 2003. While in graduate school, I was lucky enough to receive supervision from a certified play therapist who ignited my interest and passion in working with children. I began attending play therapy trainings with renowned author Ross Greene, eventually completing his advanced-level training in collaborative problem-solving. I then completed certification in working with children and families from the Royal Holloway University in London. I’ve always been passionate about advocacy for children with special needs, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues. Working from a problem-solving model allows me to help parents reconnect with their children through assisted play and enhanced communication.
What should someone know about working with you?
When working with families and children, I collaborate closely with parents/caregivers. I am highly-skilled and strategy-based in my treatment methodology and I greatly enjoy teaching parents how to communicate more effectively with and relate more powerfully to their children. I use a lot of visual tools, writing, and artwork with kids to help them better understand their feelings. When working with adults with ADHD, I personalize treatment by exploring my client’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas of executive function skills. I take inventory of what organizational systems, calendars, and tracking methods they use so that I can make recommendations useful, meaningful, and realistic for their lifestyle. I find that many adults with ADHD struggle with anxiety and depression as well, so I have developed a two-prong approach that is both therapeutic and pragmatic.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I would advise anyone hesitant to do their homework and find someone who makes them feel comfortable, heard, and validated. Clients should think about what is important to them in a relationship as the client/therapist relationship is highly important. Some people prefer therapy that is listening-based and some want the therapist to take a more active role. Some people want therapy that is gentle and some want to be pushed and challenged. Therapy doesn’t have to be scary, intense, or dark; it can be playful, enlightening, and humorous. Or it can be all of these things, kind of at the same time. The relationship between client/therapist is the same as other types of relationships in that it takes time, patience, and trust to develop.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
The pandemic has forced many of us to embrace teletherapy and this has helped me recognize just how many people are hesitant to reach out for help. I believe teletherapy can act as a proverbial bridge to healing, extending an olive branch to those who may have been inaccessible otherwise. It will universalize treatment and break down some of the unfair and unjust stigmas society has applied.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
Throughout my career, I’ve always enjoyed writing as a way to expand my thoughts and ideas. When I became a parent of a child diagnosed with ADHD, I realized that there aren’t enough practical resources available for affected families. I found this frustrating as both a parent and a professional working in the field. Recently, a publisher asked me to write about my expertise and that conversation led to the creation of my book, Thriving with ADHD: Workbook for Teens. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and am honored knowing this book will help others. It works to fill in the missing gaps, outlining many of the strategies that I use myself and empowering teenagers to strengthen their executive function skills.
“When working with adults with ADHD, I personalize treatment by exploring my client’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas of executive function skills.”