“I have supported people through anxiety/panic, depression, healing from trauma, mood disorders, and many other concerns.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was born and raised in New York. My family is ethnically Albanian and from the southeast region of Europe. I grew up watching the Balkan War in the 1990s from a distance and later witnessed the results of the trauma it inflicted on our people. From that, I saw how deeply our mental health is intertwined with our general wellbeing and society at large. I knew by going into this field that I would be able to make a difference, so I declared a psychology major immediately in undergrad. I am now a therapist in New York City, working in a variety of roles at Northwell Health facilities (which includes Zucker Hillside Hospital and Cohen Children’s Medical Center). My love for working with teenagers comes from my experience at CCMC and my current area of focus is with adolescents and young adults.
What should someone know about working with you?
I use a combination of therapeutic modalities starting from a psychodynamic lens while incorporating CBT/DBT techniques. I have also been trained in trauma-focused CBT. My style consists of mostly talk therapy with some expectation of practicing coping skills between sessions (sometimes this can include reviewing worksheets, but I rarely assign homework). I have supported people through anxiety/panic, depression, healing from trauma, mood disorders, and many other concerns. I aim to assist my clients in further developing their sense of self, working toward their goals, and maintaining an eager outlook on their future while we sift through the barriers in the way of a higher quality of daily life. Progress to me is when my clients start developing more insight into their emotions and thoughts and become able to regularly utilize coping skills in real time.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I actively keep myself informed on sociopolitical issues, multicultural values, family systems, and research to make sure I am offering the best care for my clients. Given my background as a first-generation American, I am passionate about understanding how social issues impact my clients when they show up in session with me and how political movements are meaningful to them. I believe that people are inherently good, and we just need to be given the proper tools to meet ourselves with compassion. I also think it's important that we extend this empathy to others by standing up for what's right and believing that other people are good, too.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I am currently participating in a research study on the prevalence of domestic abuse among Albanian Americans. I am particularly interested in this not only because it involves my ethnic community but also because it can encourage a lot of uncomfortable yet necessary conversations that we need to bring to light.
“I aim to assist my clients in further developing their sense of self, working toward their goals, and maintaining an eager outlook on their future while we sift through the barriers in the way of a higher quality of daily life.”