“I chose a clinical path because I wanted to serve as a partner in the healing journey, helping remove barriers that keep individuals from fully enjoying life and realizing their vast potential.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My mother was always a woman of strong faith, grit, and kindness. Watching her in action during my childhood lit a fire inside me and it continues burning today, fueling my desire to help others. I spent years in the church and New York’s leading nonprofits, working with marginalized and underserved youths and families. Along the way, I found my passion in helping people heal, restore, and thrive. This led me to pursue an evidence-based education focused on mind, body, and spirit. Through my studies, I explored healing trauma, spiritual guidance, socioeconomic justice, and leadership. I chose a clinical path because I wanted to serve as a partner in the healing journey, helping remove barriers that keep individuals from fully enjoying life and realizing their vast potential. I stand by my clients’ sides as they overcome their obstacles and, together, we celebrate the wins.
What should someone know about working with you?
I partner with my clients to create a safe, trusting relationship that allows us to work together. Most people find that I’m easy to talk to and you can expect me to listen carefully. I implement a holistic approach to help you improve mind-body-spirit wellness so that you’re better able to break through barriers and uncover limiting beliefs and behaviors. In the first session, I want to get to know you: what brought you to therapy, what you want to change in your life, and how we can best work together. As our time progresses, I will introduce various psychotherapies and psychosocial tools, such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, insight-oriented therapy, inner-child work, mindful observations, and trauma screens. I also use ecomaps, a graphic device for viewing relevant and connected experiences and interactions in your life, to give us more insight.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Life is interconnected, multilayered, and complex. No one person has all the answers. As a therapist, I consult and collaborate with various providers as a matter of routine. In over 10 years of experience in the church and nonprofits, I worked with psychiatrists, nutritionists, pastors, other therapists, and clinical supervisors frequently. Access to their specialized knowledge and insight enhanced my “whole body” approach to therapy. I am happy to refer my clients as needed.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Engaging in therapy is not easy for everyone, mainly because it requires feeling safe enough to trust someone else. It’s not uncommon to carry around past trauma or betrayal, even by those we loved and trusted. In some cultures, there is a stigma attached to seeking help; old adages like “don’t wash your dirty laundry in public" ring loudly. But remember that you have strengths and you can break through the barriers that are keeping you back. Sometimes you need therapy to provide that extra oomph. Each session is safe, welcoming, and private. Therapy is an important way to rebuild trust, get support, learn new coping skills, empower yourself, and renew your sense of self. As you start the journey, remember that knowledge is power. You should ask lots of questions regarding a therapist’s process and seek support from someone non-judgmental and comfortable.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I have engaged in deep study of trauma and its impact. Trauma can be debilitating and disruptive or silent and subtle. It can negatively impact our thinking, feelings, spirit, and relationships. It can cause us to think that we’re not good enough and lead us down the path of drug and alcohol abuse. But there’s good news, too. Not everyone who has traumatic experiences develops symptoms of trauma and, for those who do, trauma may lead to constructive change and positive outcomes. This silver lining influences my practice in a big way. Instead of focusing solely on the negative impact of trauma, I help my clients cope, discover resilience, and experience post-traumatic growth, all of which fosters positive views of the self and recognition of inner strengths.
“Therapy is an important way to rebuild trust, get support, learn new coping skills, empower yourself, and renew your sense of self.”