“It’s a great feeling to know that you can be the greatest agent of change in your life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always been observant and curious about people and behavior—and have tried to understand not only the internal forces at work, but also the social, financial, and political contexts of behavior. I have formal education in psychology (at both Vassar College and New York University), but I’m often surprised by how much life experience can also inform my education and understanding. I have worked in clinical and managerial roles in mental health for over 20 years and am grateful that my passion and curiosity continue to grow now in private practice.
What should someone know about working with you?
The first few sessions are dedicated to learning about you. I start with taking historical information, then we’ll explore what you’re most interested in achieving and how you would like to see therapy impact, improve, or enhance your life. I like to set some expected time frames in which to accomplish this impact or change. I will assign exercises in between sessions to help you practice and apply skills learned during sessions. I want you to feel the benefits of your time, effort, and hard work in therapy—it’s a great feeling to know that you can be the greatest agent of change in your life. In all of my sessions, I listen, ask questions, and occasionally incorporate mindfulness, if you are open and interested.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I have collaborated with many different healthcare professionals and believe in accessing support from experts such as psychiatrists, nutritionists, and creative arts therapists. I always look for opportunities to learn from colleagues and try to incorporate that into my understanding of my clients. I also encourage clients to recommend books, articles, and other resources that have inspired them.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
If you are hesitant about therapy, I would recommend requesting a free phone consultation to ask questions and see if it eases your discomfort. People have often remarked that therapy is not what they thought it would be and that they feel much more relaxed after a meeting or two. Finding the right fit can often be challenging, so it can help to keep your options open and try to interact with more than one therapist. Notice how you feel during the interactions and use that as important data for making your decision.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited about all the ways in which mental health is incorporated into other healthcare and educational services. Schools are teaching mindfulness skills and emotion words to children to equip them in addressing difficult feelings and traumatic situations. I also think it’s important that people from various cultural backgrounds feel that they have access to mental health care and see clinicians of the same ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation represented in the field. There are also many exciting advancements in how we view the relationships between auditory hallucinations, drug use, physical activity, and mental health—and how we view ways to address mental health aside from traditional talk therapy.
“People have often remarked that therapy is not what they thought it would be and that they feel much more relaxed after a meeting or two.”