“I always knew I wanted to work in the field of mental health and I knew I wanted to begin by counseling first responders in the fire department, which I did to start my transition in the field.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Working as a therapist is my second career. For 11 years before obtaining my counseling degrees, I worked as a paramedic for the New York Fire Department. I always knew I wanted to work in the field of mental health and I knew I wanted to begin by counseling first responders in the fire department, which I did to start my transition in the field. I have worked with substance abuse clients and in general mental health and my degree (LMHC) is trauma and crisis-focused.
What should someone know about working with you?
Clients who work with me are provided services through a telehealth platform. I invite my clients to partake in homework assignments, which allows them to take on a part of the therapeutic process outside of the session and continue the work. I often work with adults and uniformed service personnel.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Currently, I am a doctoral student studying clinical psychology. I continue my education through this program and by attending workshops and webinars and taking part in different organizations that promote mental health. I believe it is very important to keep our educational knowledge growing throughout our careers. I also believe that collaborating with other professionals affords the client a holistic and well-rounded approach to their treatment. This increases the benefit of therapy.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My core values shape my approach since I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach and teach. As a cognitive behavioral therapist, I focus a lot on how cognition impacts feelings and behaviors. Approaching things from this viewpoint allows me to analytically view the situations and experiences around me. It allows me to practice the coping skills and tools that I offer my clients. As a therapist of color, I recognize that understanding cultural competence is crucial to individuals of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities. Being open to understanding a different culture allows the therapist to continue to grow their competence over their professional lifetime.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am very excited that telehealth gives individuals access to therapy. It opens the door to a different avenue, which allows for consistency and room for development in the future. As a therapist, it’s rewarding to offer services in this alternative way because it provides services to those who don’t have the resources or who are unable to muster up the strength to reach an office.
“I have worked with substance abuse clients and in general mental health and my degree (LMHC) is trauma and crisis-focused.”