“I believe that we are each shaped by sociocultural norms and beliefs that have integrated into our thoughts and perceptions, whether adaptive or maladaptive.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I’ve always been inquisitive by nature, and, in particular, fascinated by the study of human behavior. Why do we do the things we do? What influences our thoughts and behaviors on both individualistic and collective levels? Being a therapist is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, understanding how the pieces fit together and why. Through a strong therapeutic alliance, it is my belief that the process of therapy will lend itself to answering the aforementioned questions for each respective client. I believe that we are each shaped by sociocultural norms and beliefs that have integrated into our thoughts and perceptions, whether adaptive or maladaptive. Through our work together, we can parse out such beliefs and work on finding meaning in order to lead more fulfilling, adaptive lives.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I am of the belief that a strong therapeutic alliance is essential to growth throughout the process of therapy. It is my goal to cultivate a safe, supportive, and judgement-free environment. Throughout the therapeutic process, I believe in working collaboratively with clients to cope with challenging circumstances and to increase overall self-awareness within everyday functioning. Our first sessions will be about getting to know each other: me learning more about you and both of us deciding if we're a good fit. During our early work, I will ask you to think about your goals for therapy and what benchmarks for change might look like. That way, we can revisit your initial intentions later during the process. While I don’t believe in giving structured homework, depending on the nature of a session, I will usually work with clients to implement our work into their everyday lives.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
Collaboration is integral to my practice. It’s important for me to always be learning and growing, particularly through collaborative work with other providers in the field. With that said, it’s also important for me to recognize when my clients may require additional support than what I am able to provide, whether that be through a nutritionist, psychiatrist, or fertility specialist. Such referrals for additional support are topics I always discuss thoughtfully and in an exploratory fashion with each client.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
I believe that a lack of adequate medical coverage for mental health care is a significant barrier for most people seeking care today. This systemic issue covertly perpetuates the stigma surrounding mental health and, moreover, the damaging beliefs that mental health is not as important as physical health, despite most research showing a significant correlation between the two. While I hope for systematic changes to reflect the increasing need for affordable mental health treatment, I appreciate that therapeutic communities like Alma are making mental health care more accessible and easier to navigate.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
It’s completely normal to be hesitant about starting therapy. Opening yourself up to a complete stranger is not always comfortable or easy! Therapy is also not a place where you receive advice. You are the expert on your own life. I like to think of therapy as you standing in a dark room with a flashlight. As a therapist, I am simply there to help you determine which areas you would like to illuminate.
“I like to think of therapy as you standing in a dark room with a flashlight. As a therapist, I am simply there to help you determine which areas you would like to illuminate.”