“I like working with all individuals but teenagers and young mothers seem to be my areas of interest.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Psychotherapy is my second career; my original career was as a paralegal who was eager to attend law school until a change of life situation occurred. I met someone who asked me to substitute as a facilitator in a church group. After facilitating, talking, and interacting with the groups and my peers, I knew that law school was not for me so I went to graduate school for an education in school counseling. My upbringing says a lot about me. I'm the youngest of five children and was raised in the urban areas of Brooklyn, New York in the 1970s. We spent our days playing doubledutch and hopscotch and making new friends. My family didn't have a lot of money so we did simple things to have fun and that taught me to value life and hard work. My work experience includes several settings, such as child welfare agencies, schools, and psychotherapy clinics. These experiences, along with my life experiences, have shaped me into the practitioner I am today.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process is simple: The first step involves visiting my website to find out a little more about me and to download the intake forms and complete them before coming into the office. This gives the client time to patiently complete the forms. I assign homework and we discuss it during the next session. I like working with all individuals but teenagers and young mothers seem to be my areas of interest.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
A lot of my time is being spent obtaining my CASAC-T. I've completed the Supervisory Core II training. I'm interested in learning more about DBT and planning to take training to obtain certification in that area. I think that learning and collaborating with other providers enhances my abilities and knowledge as a psychotherapist. It enables me to provide various modalities to my clients.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My upbringing and life experiences shape my entire worldview. I realize that everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about and believe that being nonjudgmental will lead to a life of growth. If someone were to look at me, they would know that I'm black but they wouldn't think that I grew up in an urban area. I was homeless at one time in my life, I had a child at a young age, and now I own my own psychotherapy private practice. Being culturally-sensitive is at the core of my practice and I value people in all stages of life, from their weakest to their strongest. This is their current situation and not their life sentence. Growing up the way that I did and being exposed to different things by traveling and seeing the world through a different lens are what I value the most.
“Being culturally-sensitive is at the core of my practice and I value people in all stages of life, from their weakest to their strongest.”