“I have learned in my profession that creating connection, using congruence, being authentic, and engendering trust contribute significantly to positive outcomes in treatment.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Prior to becoming a therapist, I was an English teacher for 20 years. I originally completed an MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and subsequently wrote and published three books. As a writer, I believe in the power of expressive arts as a way for individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions. I was drawn to change careers by my husband Mason, a retired social worker. He encouraged me to pursue the field of psychology as he believed I possessed the skills to thrive in the field. His encouragement inspired me to pursue my training. Mason has been my greatest mentor. His decades of experience as a family therapist have served to be invaluable to me as he has not only been supportive, but he has shed light on many of my questions about human behavior. The work of the theorist Karen Horney has encouraged me to have an appreciation of the human spirit and the capacity for resilience.
What should someone know about working with you?
I believe in paying close attention to the strengths of the individual. I have learned that each individual has resources and abilities that appear to be inaccessible but that can be revealed and used in order to help the individual tackle their problems and symptoms. My approach includes encouraging the individual to focus their attention on what is going well in their life. As such, it is possible to move away from simply focusing on negative factors and thereby enhancing the positive ones. I encourage the practice of deep breathing where the body becomes more relaxed. I also help clients connect with a pleasant experience and visualize a place or a person that has offered them a rewarding and beautiful interaction. I believe that this technique helps the individual place less attention on the source of distress and shift into a more peaceful state of mind.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I am completing a doctorate (PsyD) in clinical psychology and am currently taking electives toward identifying specialties. I recently completed a course in dream analysis and am interested in further exploring how the use of therapeutic dream analysis in session helps strengthen the therapeutic alliance.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am interested in mind-body medicine, approaches, and interventions that are integrative in nature. I believe therapists should have diverse evidence-based interventions at their disposal that they can use to treat a variety of symptoms.
What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
I have learned in my profession that creating connection, using congruence, being authentic, and engendering trust contribute significantly to positive outcomes in treatment. I have also learned that encouraging self-efficacy and autonomous growth leads to change in the individual.
How will we work together?
We will work together on decreasing distorted thinking that leads to feeling paralyzed by the desire to be perfect, activating acceptance in order to increase self- esteem, and decreasing self- doubt, anxiety, and depression so that you can continue to thrive in your life and be free of the fear of taking risks or moving forward.
“I have also learned that encouraging self-efficacy and autonomous growth leads to change in the individual.”