“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: A positive therapeutic relationship with a practitioner when I was an adolescent inspired me to pursue a career as a psychotherapist. This practitioner looked like me, a Black woman, and she was warm as well as effective; she helped my family through two unique crises and it made such a difference. As someone who had always been interested in social justice, clinical social work just seemed like a natural fit as it combined my interests and passions. As I became more seasoned and experienced, I grew more interested in issues, such as access and representation, serving those who looked like me and those with whom I shared personal experiences and helping my clients navigate their respective diagnoses and life stories.
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.”