“I honestly believe the field of mental health chose me rather than the other way around.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My journey was quite interesting and I originally trained as an actor and dancer. I also obtained a master’s in Spanish as I am passionate about my first language and enjoyed teaching it between acting gigs. I honestly believe the field of mental health chose me rather than the other way around. I started as a volunteer coordinating an LGBTQ drama group at a local non-profit. As my life journey progressed, I ended up as the interim executive director at a local agency in Newark. In 2009, I decided to return to school during the economic crisis to obtain an MSW and focus on administration. But life surprised me once more and I literally fell in love with the clinical side and have been a clinician ever since. I currently have an administrative position I enjoy but my heart continues to be in clinical work.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am a true believer that people make decisions with the best options at the moment. Some are “good” and others “bad”, but I believe and have witnessed human resilience and the ability people have to grow. As your therapist, I will be your support and your cheerleader while helping you reach or regain self-assurance. As an artist, I can assist you in using creative approaches to address issues that need to be resolved.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Collaborating with other professionals is always an opportunity to learn and exchange resources. As an individual provider, I am aware I don’t have all the answers and - for that reason - I value collaboration with other providers. The more resources available, the better I can assist clients.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Feeling hesitant is part of the process and there are many reasons for this (such as a bad past experience or misinformation about what therapy entails). However, I invite you to be open to the possibility of having a brand new nurturing and collaborative experience. As a therapist, I have a wealth of knowledge and a variety of useful interventions; as a client, you have a wealth of knowledge, strength, and experiences. Together, I am certain we can find ways to resolve or overcome challenges.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I’m most excited that mental health is a never-ending learning process. Whenever I feel stuck, there is always a new development or skill to learn. In addition, I also believe mental health can be a threshold, leading to multiple ways we can experience life to the fullest (even if, at times, it feels impossible).
“As your therapist, I will be your support and your cheerleader while helping you reach or regain self-assurance. As an artist, I can assist you in using creative approaches to address issues that need to be resolved.”