“I work from a psychodynamic lens, understanding that our current struggles are rooted in early childhood experiences.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I began my career as a music therapist, working in a children’s hospital and an adult psychiatric hospital. Through these experiences, my eyes opened to the overwhelming impact trauma has on an individual. This realization made me want to dig deeper and have a larger impact on clients, leading me to NYU where I received my master’s in social work. As a clinical social worker, I have gained experience working with families and individuals struggling with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and trauma. I was lucky to be introduced to therapy at a very young age. This allowed me to see how impactful and important it is to have a safe space to process emotions and feel seen. Due to my own childhood experiences and the role I played within my family system, I have always been an empathetic caretaker. Becoming a therapist was a natural fit that has turned into an unwavering passion.
What should someone know about working with you?
I work from a psychodynamic lens, understanding that our current struggles are rooted in early childhood experiences. I also aim to see the client in their environment, understanding that systems of oppression have a huge effect on our overall mental health. Collaboratively with the client, I aid in unpacking these experiences and strive to understand the negative beliefs that have been internalized and the maladaptive defense mechanisms that have been developed as a result of these experiences. I use self-compassion, mindfulness, and inner child work and interventions to aid clients in healing inner wounds and working toward internal self-worth and radical self-acceptance. I enjoy working with clients who are committed to their own self-growth. I expect my clients to prioritize self-care and implement what is discussed in sessions outside of the therapy room (or Zoom room).
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
As a clinical social worker, it is part of my ethical code to continue to learn and grow as a therapist through continuing education and training. It is important to learn new perspectives and interventions so that I can best help my clients. I also love reading and listening to podcasts about therapy, society, social justice, and the human experience. I would be more than happy to share my recommendations with you!
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I fully believe that all human beings are inherently worthy of love, compassion, and acceptance. Through my work as a therapist, I have come to understand that the source of a lot of our pain comes from the toxic shame developed in early childhood that is then reinforced by systems of oppression. Early on, we become disconnected from our internal sense of worth and self and we start to believe we are not enough. We then spend our lives looking toward external sources, such as relationships, beauty, thinness, success, and material objects to affirm our worth. We end up settling, burning ourselves out, and developing high levels of dissatisfaction, depression, and anxiety. In order to move out of depression, anxiety, and life dissatisfaction, it is crucial to cultivate our internal worth and connect to who we truly are. I work from a feminist, anti-racist, LGBTQ-affirming, and health-at-every-size perspective, as I am fully aware of how these systems oppress and impact my clients.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am very excited about the rise in mental health startups like Alma. These companies not only make therapy more accessible but also make it more affordable. I believe that everyone deserves access to affordable mental health treatment, as it is imperative to overall health and wellbeing. Therapy should not only be for the privileged few who can afford an out-of-pocket fee.
“I also aim to see the client in their environment, understanding that systems of oppression have a huge effect on our overall mental health.”