“I utilize my art background in the therapeutic process when appropriate.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was always drawn to being a therapist. I am biracial and was raised by a single mother who often struggled to cope with personal and professional stresses. The combination of my family background and growing up on the streets of New York City helps me understand how trauma and PTSD can affect the mind and body. I began my own therapy in my 20s. It was the beginning of many years of therapeutic work which has made a profound difference in the life choices I've made. My first career was as a children's book designer. This was engaging and creative, but I knew I'd eventually make my way to becoming a therapist. In my 40s I returned to school for my MSW and have worked in a variety of settings with populations from at-risk high school students to families in supportive housing. I have experience working with complex trauma in families and I can relate to people who were or are on the fringes of society. No matter what a person’s story may be, I understand that we all deal with the issues involved in achieving a balanced life, satisfying relationships, and a confident identity. I utilize my art background in the therapeutic process when appropriate. I look at the whole person – their environment, overall health, coping mechanisms, learned behaviors, and what has worked for them in the past.
What should someone know about working with you?
The intake process depends on what a client wants to work on. If they are interested in working on historic trauma, I may use EMDR, which requires an in-depth intake. If they are interested in modifying a specific behavior pattern and looking for short-term therapy, the process is less rigorous. It is difficult to generalize what progress looks like as it is different for each individual. I am extremely patient and empathetic, but I can also be direct when working on behavior modification. We follow an agreed upon treatment plan, and I will give homework if it makes sense to do so. I have done a lot of work with young adults and with families in crisis. I am also interested in communication and learning to be assertive in interpersonal relationships. I do extensive work with alcoholics, addicts, and their families. I am well-versed in 12-step programs and recovery communities. In addition, I love running art groups for children.
“I look at the whole person, their environment, their overall health, their coping mechanisms, their learned behaviors, and what has worked for them in the past.”