“The body-mind-spirit connection is central to my work and, through journaling, meditations, or mindfulness exercises, you will remain motivated.”
What was your path to becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?
I have been in the helping professions my entire life as an educator in the performing arts, LGBTQ+ outreach program director, hospital and community-based program chaplain, volunteer hospital visits coordinator, interfaith minister, anti-racism dialogues facilitator, and group facilitator. While serving as a chaplain on an interdisciplinary team during the aftermath of 9/11, I looked at the team and said, “I want to do this the rest of my life! What do I need to do career-wise?” The professionals in the room were psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers. Without missing a beat, I knew that clinical social work was my next career. This is my passion and at the core of my soul. I graduated from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. My favorite quote is by Lilla Watson: "If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
What should someone know about working with you?
I am passionate about deep self-knowledge. I will briefly assess if we are a good match and will engage in getting to know your biopsychosocial history as well as your emotional and spiritual needs. Then, we will discuss a range of approaches that would work best for you. I combine psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapies. You will identify your values and learn to live the most authentic life you can. We will identify your triggers and your reactions to them, and you will learn coping strategies to produce healthy responses to stress. The body-mind-spirit connection is central to my work and, through journaling, meditations, or mindfulness exercises, you will remain motivated. I am sensitive and attentive to issues of cultural identity and diversity.
How do your core values shape your approach to care?
My immigrant experience and my career in the performing arts inform and inspire my clinical work. I have lived in between several cultures and learned my own values by sifting through differentiations, such as individualism vs. collectivism, assimilation vs. integration, and ethnocentric views vs. global perspectives. I understand the psychosocial and emotional implications of different communication styles, cultural expressions of grief and joy, power differentials, capacities to overcome adversity, sexual preference and gender identification, and structural oppression. I am a compassionate, resilient, and caring individual who values self-determination, self-empowerment, authenticity, gratitude, humility, and solidarity. We all are a work-in-progress; self-development never ends. There is always something more to learn about ourselves and we have unlimited opportunities for self-transformation.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My most meaningful research work has been the result of needing to explore a clinical dilemma or address cultural dissonance. I have presented on a variety of topics such as the following: “Developing Emotional Strength for Women”; “Creating Safe Spaces for Dialogues Celebrating Diversity”; “Conducting Spiritual Assessment with LGBTQ Seniors”; “Adapting 12 Step Principles to Build a Path to Compassion”; “Mutual Invitation as Empowerment”; “Group Work to Address Chronic/Terminal Illnesses”; “From Loneliness and Isolation to Solitude and Contemplation”; “Coping in Anxious Times and Spirituality”; "Group Work Practice in a Mental Health Clinic: Curriculum-based and Time-limited Group Sessions"; "Construction Paper, Glitter, and Color Markers: Alternative Ways to Experiential Learning and Meaningful Processes"; and “ACS (Adverse Childhood Experience): The Unspoken and Silenced Remains.”
“I am a compassionate, resilient, and caring individual who values self-determination, self-empowerment, authenticity, gratitude, humility, and solidarity.”