“We experience transformation when we understand the role of both heart and mind.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was drawn to math and science early in my life and majored in mechanical engineering during undergrad, later working for technology companies. While I enjoyed the challenge of this work, a set of pivotal mentors during my graduate studies in organizational psychology and leadership led to a change of heart. I reconnected with aspects of my own early development in profound ways and gained an appreciation for the role of creativity in human change. This eventually led to my decision to pursue more people-centered work. It was not the path I originally expected, but I now use my diverse professional and educational experiences in all areas of my career. I apply a humanistic approach to psychotherapy as well as teaching and coaching leadership at NYU.
What should someone know about working with you?
Psychotherapy is equal parts art and science. My own career path has helped me to approach my work with this in mind, combining the analytic sensibility from my early career with a sensitivity regarding the role image and metaphor play in therapeutic change. The greatest impact happens when we consider both. Put another way, we experience transformation when we understand the role of both heart and mind. I enjoy bringing contemporary ideas from varied fields such as systems theory, anthropology and psychoanalysis to my work, but I keep in mind that so much of our daily experience defies intellectual reasoning. Ultimately, I attune my practice to what I think of as the music of psychotherapy — it’s a symphony of beats, rhythms, and empathic listening.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
The topics we bring to therapy are generally complex. They don’t lend themselves to easy answers. That’s why I try to approach my work with a sense of humility and the knowledge that I’ll need to adapt my thinking to meet the uniqueness of your situation. Collaboration with other practitioners, as well as a capacity for life-long learning, are an essential part of meeting each client’s needs. With this in mind, I continue to pursue a range of professional development opportunities and engage in social networking. These avenues expand the range of my practice, my knowledge, and my skills.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Reaching out for help isn’t easy; you might not be sure if you really need therapy or that you will benefit. Perhaps you even worry that it will dig up old wounds. Concerns about the process are normal and often an inevitable part of getting started. I would encourage you to raise any of these concerns with me and know that I value being direct, straightforward, and non-defensive with you. Personal growth can begin in ways we may not initially see or expect, but it does take time and patience. It comes with plenty of questions, too. I see these moments as part of a larger process of building trust between us and I strive to be your mutual partner in this empowering journey.
What, in your view, leads to growth and change?
If we want to look deeper at the hard-to-face aspects of ourselves, it’s important that we have someone we can rely on for support and a listening ear. Empathy is important but so is the ability to focus on long-term growth that leads us to triumph over the obstacles that come our way. Consistency, dependability and trust are only established over time, but they are essential to the process of healing. And that puts them always in the forefront of my mind.
“I try to approach my work with a sense of humility and the knowledge that I’ll need to adapt my thinking to meet the uniqueness of your situation.”