“I very much like working with young people in their 20s who are working to establish themselves in the world and may have self-esteem issues and anxiety.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always been interested in helping people and understanding what may create struggles and disruptions in our ability to sometimes manage life and life circumstances. I previously worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for over 20 years and had been exposed to some of these issues during my upbringing. I am very versed in understanding the family dynamics and issues of addiction. I worked for many years with mildly mentally impaired clients as well as in a hospital environment at Mercy Medical Center. I have also worked in an outpatient setting for South Nassau Guidance, where I was exposed to many different mental illnesses and diagnoses. I have run groups for eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, and self-esteem. I also work with couples. I believe I have an extremely diverse background of education, conferences, and self-exploration. I have studied mythology, shamanism, Rubenfeld synergy, gestalt psychotherapy, and meditation.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process is to first understand what brings the client to therapy and then explore the client’s background and history. I explore the family of origin, mental health history of self and family, and any other socioeconomic or environmental factors related to and impacting the client’s level of functioning. Progress looks like any change in perspective or personal awareness. I do assign homework if the client is interested and finds it helpful. I very much like working with young people in their 20s who are working to establish themselves in the world and may have self-esteem issues and anxiety.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I attend on-line and in-person conferences, seminars, and retreats. I also like to read articles, books, and journals pertaining to treatment techniques and ideas for improving my therapeutic capabilities.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
My upbringing and life experiences have greatly influenced my career as a therapist. I grew up with an extreme understanding of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression as I came from a very large family with a father who became addicted to codeine from a prescription in the 60s and 70s after having stopped drinking alcohol. I also feel as though I have a very good understanding of family dynamics and relationships due to being the youngest of five other siblings who are married with children. I also have much experience dealing with women's issues as well as LGBTQIA+ struggles.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Telehealth seems to have created a whole new environment for both the client and the therapist to be working within. I find it most helpful for young people who are on the go and trying to get from place to place; they are able to see a therapist and sometimes can work through issues right in the midst of whatever is happening for them. Many clients with anxiety seem to be experiencing a greater sense of health and ease with sessions that are more easily provided and in a more comfortable setting. I have found (for the most part) that it is much easier for people to open up remotely. I am always open to learning and exploring other avenues of interest and I am currently looking into dream work and analysis.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I enjoy all forms of study about the brain and body correlation. I also love to explore research on psycho-spiritual work; I believe it gives me an enhanced view of the psychotherapeutic process.
“I also love to explore research on psycho-spiritual work; I believe it gives me an enhanced view of the psychotherapeutic process.”