“My clinical technique emphasizes person-centered care, utilizing a strengths-based approach to help clients build skills for effective coping, self-expression, and understanding.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Before I was a doctor, I was an educator and worked as a tenured high school teacher at the Thomas Jefferson High School campus in East New York. My students played an integral and activating role in exposing me to the complexities of mental health. I have worked in diverse settings, ranging from Puerto Rico and India to Pontiac, Michigan and Elmhurst, Queens. I saw the highest level of care for children in Connecticut and I have appreciated the eclectic encounters that have not only contributed to my cultural competency but overall psychiatric acumen. Just as my clients may look at me to solve their problems, I see them as my teachers. I believe that a good psychiatrist is a constant learner and student for life. A good psychiatrist not only has the requisite training but also embraces new approaches in the field while being open to thinking outside of the box (at times, they may even discard the box entirely).
What should someone know about working with you?
I provide comprehensive care for student athletes, high-level workers, creatives, and individuals with autism spectrum disorder and/or cognitive limitations. I additionally treat ADHD, psychosis, anxiety, and depression. My clinical technique emphasizes person-centered care, utilizing a strengths-based approach to help clients build skills for effective coping, self-expression, and understanding. I utilize mindfulness and expressive arts (primarily movement) as a therapeutic modality to help others explore mind-body connections. One should expect a 2-4 stage intake to effectively discuss active and chronic concerns, strengths, vulnerabilities, past psychiatric and medical history, and psychosocial and family history. The intake provides an adequate opportunity for me to establish a formulation that will aid in consolidating a collaborative treatment plan. Follow-up scheduling for medication management and therapy is individualized per each person’s needs, requests, and psychiatric demand.
Can you tell me more about your movement therapy sessions?
Sometimes, we do not have the words to express how we feel. Sometimes, talking is not enough. How can we modify our “angry” movements toward more positive motor behavior and how can we enhance our “happy” movements to improve our current state? I am inspired by tenets of Laban movement analysis (LMA), which is a method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting, and documenting human movement for emotional regulation. With my experience as a formally-trained dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer, I establish a nonjudgmental space that teaches body awareness and encourages the processing and communication of emotions through movement.
My goals with movement therapy for individuals and groups are to accomplish the following: Honor and validate emotions; encourage the identification of emotions; allow creative freedom to express emotions through movement; encourage healthy collaboration; provide the opportunity for one to teach and create/perform “emotional choreography” for therapeutic processing via the see, do, teach method; encourage and emphasize motor behavior that enhances positive emotions; foster fun; and explore creative modalities of communication and processing that can help with emotional sentience.
There isn’t emotion without motion, after all!
“I utilize mindfulness and expressive arts (primarily movement) as a therapeutic modality to help others explore mind-body connections.”