“I am currently training at the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association to strengthen my capacity to hear my clients' stories symbolically.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
For me, becoming a therapist involved ongoing learning and reflection. I graduated from Columbia Social Work School in 2014. Since then, I have treated clients facing a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, addiction, and personality disorders. With an intention of reducing symptoms, I use cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused CBT, mindfulness, and motivational interviewing. A few years ago, some personal experiences expanded my view of mental health symptoms. I realized our symptoms and disorders are unconscious communications that encourage us to become aware of our essential psychological aspects. This calls for a deliteralization when approaching and treating symptoms. I am currently training at the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association to strengthen my capacity to hear my clients' stories symbolically. My goal is to help my clients alleviate their symptoms and gain an in-depth understanding of themselves.
What should someone know about working with you?
In sessions, I create an open, empathic, and safe space for you to share your experiences, thoughts, feelings, fantasies, dreams, and bodily sensations as much as you feel comfortable. I might use drawing, painting, collage, or body movement to help you access your materials. We will sit with your stories, understand the contexts, identify the central themes, recognize and communicate with the various figures, and work on the conflicts all while I support where you want to go. Progress is evidenced when you suffer fewer symptoms, improve work or school performance, have better relationships, or feel empowered to make your own choices. I will not assign homework, although I believe therapy happens within and outside of the sessions. Our work is more effective when you tend to your thought processes about our conversations even after leaving the session. I mostly work with young adults aged 18-45, but my door is open to any adult who believes we may be a good match.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Having sat on both sides of the therapeutic dyad, I have come to regard self-reflection as a core value that has shaped my approach. A wise teacher once said that we could not help our clients explore those places we have not explored ourselves as therapists. Thus, I commit to the continuous examination of myself to effectively help my clients create desired change. I have noticed that a lot of times "self-awareness" stays on an intellectual level as an idea, as though knowing our patterns and complexes are enough. However, genuine self-reflection opens us to being touched by our thoughts, feelings, and choices. I hold and cultivate the reflective space as a therapist to encourage encounters where both my clients and I can thoroughly experience and understand the clients' materials. This is a vulnerable yet rewarding process where my clients can bring knowledge of themselves to life and actualize changes in how they relate to themselves and the rest of the world.
“Having sat on both sides of the therapeutic dyad, I have come to regard self-reflection as a core value that has shaped my approach.”