“Therapy is a great chance for me to provide you support and the tools you need to meet your therapeutic goals and make positive changes.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I became a psychologist because I have a tremendous passion for helping others improve their mental health through behavioral techniques. I received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University where I focused on neurological pathways of learning and memory in animal models. I then earned a doctorate from Bryn Mawr College where my research focused on identifying neurological mechanisms of anxiety and behavioral modification techniques. I began my clinical focus working with children with severe trauma where I implemented cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy, and family therapy; this work afforded me the opportunity to help children and families overcome traumatic experiences. I continued my trauma work with adults experiencing severe mental health issues, including psychosis, and I learned that these intense difficulties can contribute meaningfully to a person’s identity. Through this work, I have been humbled by the way in which children and families show strength and resiliency. Furthermore, my previous research background in behavioral neuroscience and behavior analysis also informs my current practice. My research addressed the way severe anxiety or stress can impact behavior, which allows me to shape my clinical focus and provide support to clients.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am extremely excited at the opportunity to work with you! Therapy is a great chance for me to provide you support and the tools you need to meet your therapeutic goals and make positive changes. My style is supportive, transparent, and communicative and I believe in increasing your ability for self-advocacy and empowerment. Typically, my intake sessions focus on getting to know you, identifying challenges, and setting clear therapeutic goals; sometimes, I provide short questionnaires to assist in this. As sessions continue, I believe frequent check-ins are important to evaluate goals, progress, and symptoms.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I enjoy working with a multidisciplinary team in order to offer the best treatment possible; integration of many areas is crucial to providing multi-systemic support. I believe that areas outside of psychology (like social stressors or poor nutrition) contribute to mental health challenges. Therefore, I find that it is very important to address the client as a whole and provide an appropriate level of care by working in conjunction with other professionals (such as social workers, psychiatrists, and nutritionists). When appropriate, I request clients sign a release of information so that I can communicate with other associates and work productively with others to provide seamless treatment.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy can be an amazing journey of self-reflection and discovery, but part of the therapeutic process might involve finding the methods that work for you. This is your process, your journey, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Sometimes progress can take time and communication with your provider is helpful in getting your needs met. You might have to change directions and find a different path. There are many ways to find your destination, but the therapeutic journey can allow you to access the tools you need to be your best self.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am very heartened to see the national awareness of systemic racism and its impact on individuals on a micro and macro-scale; we are seeing many disempowered voices come together and speak out for change. I believe that it is crucial to be aware of the way in which these issues inform the therapeutic process. Enduring racism can have a multifaceted impact on functioning and I feel that it is important for these issues to be addressed. I believe it is important to actively fight these problems and acknowledge deficiencies so that we can make positive changes.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I have done extensive research in psychopharmacology, behavioral neuroscience, and behavior analysis; I believe research is the foundation of the therapeutic process. I am very excited by the way we can invoke environmental changes in order to shape behavior and provide meaningful transformation in the lives of others.
“This is your process, your journey, and you’re in the driver’s seat.”