“By helping you to understand events from the past and how they currently impact your functioning, we will work to create meaningful self-understanding and deepen relationships.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
My journey to becoming a therapist began with the desire to understand emotionality and a deep curiosity about the human condition. As a child, I loved reading stories about interesting characters and relating to perspectives different from my own. My curiosity also grew out of a deep love of biology and science, as well as my own family’s German and Jewish experiences of the Holocaust. My own questions, conflicts, and struggles motivated me to seek a deeper understanding of personality and to look for ways to grow and change through psychological understanding.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
When we meet for a first session, I'll ask for a thorough history of your past and present situations, as I believe the past informs the present. I seek to understand each client holistically, including any relational, physiological, or spiritually significant events. I believe a trusting alliance is important for effective treatment and work to inspire a non-judgmental and helpful experience for everyone I meet. By helping you to understand events from the past and how they currently impact your functioning, we will work to create meaningful self-understanding and deepen relationships. I also believe in setting goals and working with you to find techniques to reduce or change behaviors which no longer serve you. For this reason, I integrate mindfulness, CBT/DBT, and somatic work into my sessions.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
My training as a psychologist often leads me to collaborate on treatment with other doctors and healers. I regularly incorporate advice from fellow providers into my treatment plans and I encourage my clients to pursue complementary treatments. For example, when working with clients who have experienced bodily trauma and high anxiety, research shows that the best outcomes incorporate both psychotherapy and physiological treatments, like working with a psychiatrist, physical therapist, yoga instructor, or acupuncturist.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
It is so encouraging that we are talking more openly about things like depression, anxiety, and maternal mental health issues because they are relatively common and highly treatable. Unfortunately, people often suffer alone, afraid of being judged or misunderstood. One good thing about social media is that it has allowed people to find support and resources more readily. There are also so many different ways of getting help, whether through psychotherapy or alternative methods, and I think they can all be really useful to us at different times in our lives. I also hope that insurance companies will catch up to growing mental health demands and provide better coverage for their clients, as the gap between those who need services and those who can afford them is growing wider.
Is there any research-based work you’ve done that you found particularly exciting? How has that informed your practice today?
A lot of my research deals with questions around how mindfulness can help us to be more actively engaged in our lives. So much of our mental load is due to worrying about the future, creating hypothetical scenarios, and making self-judgments. I wanted to learn about our default mode and find ways to change those thought patterns in order to relate to ourselves and others differently. Mindfulness is really just one way of experiencing life outside of how society "programs" us to. I have found that mindfulness can even reduce our natural unconscious bias toward people who are different from ourselves.
“It is so encouraging that we are talking more openly about things like depression, anxiety, and maternal mental health issues because they are relatively common and highly treatable.”