“I am also very involved in current events and social justice causes, making certain that my practice is not only professionally sound and current but is informed by intersectional, anti-racist, anti-misogynist, and anti-homophobic values.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist was perhaps not a unique one in that a positive, therapeutic relationship with a practitioner when I was an adolescent, inspired me to pursue this career. This practitioner looked like me, she was a black woman, and she was warm as well as effective. She helped my family through two unique crises and it helped so much. As someone who had always been interested in social justice, clinical social work just seemed a natural fit as it combined both my interests and passions. Also, as I became more seasoned and experienced, I became more interested in issues such as access and representation, serving those who looked like me and those with whom I shared personal experiences.
What should someone know about working with you?
The first few sessions that I spend with a client are focused on getting to know them and learning what they want me to know about their stories and their goals. I then make a tentative diagnosis and share that information with the client. When needed, psychoeducation is employed; I work with my clients to understand what their diagnosis may or may not look like for them, reminding them that they are unique and different. Then, together, we design a treatment plan and begin working toward the goals of that plan. We always work as a team.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I am committed to reading professional literature and attending continuing education workshops beyond what is required to understand the basics; I always want to be an expert in my realm. I am also very involved in current events and social justice causes, making certain that my practice is not only professionally sound and current but is informed by intersectional, anti-racist, anti-misogynist, and anti-homophobic values. I view competency as not just a firm understanding of techniques and approaches, but a commitment to all people and all identities.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Were it not for being raised in an anti-racist, intersectional, and pro-Black environment, I am certain that my understanding of a healthy mental wellbeing would be faulty. A commitment to these values from youth makes it easier for me to welcome all persons. I work from a framework of existing wholeness - I don’t view my clients as faulty; I view them as wonderfully designed. I celebrate them and help them feel better about celebrating and working on themselves. Equally, I help them to weather the storms of experiences that have made them feel less than celebrated and valued.
What is it like to work with you?
Working with me involves a lot of laughter; I utilize humor as much as I use validation of difficulties and teach frustration tolerance. The golden thread throughout my work with all clients is this: You will be okay and that, as much as there may be pain along the journey, there is also joy.
“I work from a framework of existing wholeness - I don’t view my clients as faulty; I view them as wonderfully designed.”