“I believe in a goal-oriented, collaborative approach—and we will chart a path forward that meets your needs.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I’ve always been a keen observer of human behavior, but I wanted to know more about what impacts the ways people make decisions and navigate life. That led me to study psychology in college, and marriage and family therapy in graduate school. I find it easy to empathize and I like getting to know people’s stories—that made therapy a natural fit. I feel good going to work every day because I enjoy what I do and I know I’m helping people. Over time, I discovered that I have the most success working with other young people, particularly on issues surrounding anxiety, stress, careers, families, and relationships. I focus on this population and these areas because I know that’s where I can be the most effective—and I really enjoy helping people like me tackle the challenges in their lives.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
Therapy is a partnership. You get to set the goals—then we work together to find a way to get you there. When you come into my office, you’ll find a warm, empathetic environment where you can be yourself. We’ll work together to develop solutions and strategies for whatever issues you want to tackle. I believe in a goal-oriented, collaborative approach—and we will chart a path forward that meets your needs.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
If you think you might benefit from therapy, then you probably will. Honestly, I think everyone should go through therapy at some point in their lives. There’s no downside. I know some people have negative stereotypes about therapy from hearing about Sigmund Freud or watching TV. But back in Freud’s day, doctors still thought arsenic made good medicine—we’ve come a long way since then in understanding both mental and physical health. And as for the way therapy is shown on TV, these are the same people who thought season eight of “Game of Thrones” made sense. You do the math.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy, what would they be and why?
I’m a big fan of Robert Sapolsky’s “Monkeyluv.” I’m ultimately a therapeutic pragmatist, but I think an understanding of the neurobiological basis of human behavior is fundamental. I’d recommend it to anyone as a highly readable and entertaining way to understand the forces driving us all. My second choice is actually a movie: “Inside Out.” “Inside Out” teaches us to not be afraid of our emotions. Feel them, work through them, live with them, love them. That’s an incredibly powerful lesson wherever you are in life. Honestly, I sometimes think that we could have learned most of what we need to know about mental health in kindergarten if we weren’t so distracted by the crayons and Play-Doh.
What would you say to someone who’s tried therapy unsuccessfully before?
Come back and try it again. Research shows that the most important determinant of success in therapy is the therapist-client fit. Maybe your past therapist wasn’t the right fit for you—that doesn’t necessarily mean I will be, but someone is. Reach out and find the therapist who works for you. Fit is complicated—there is no simple formula. I find I tend to click the best with clients in their 20s and 30s who are grappling with living, working, and/or dating in this competitive city. If that sounds like you, I hope you’ll get in touch.
“Honestly, I sometimes think that we could have learned most of what we need to know about mental health in kindergarten if we weren’t so distracted by the crayons and Play-Doh.”