“Something potential clients should know is that it is of the utmost importance to me that you feel safe, respected, and trusted from the very onset to the very end of your therapy.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
The best "grade" I used to get on my report card in elementary school was for working and playing well with others. The teachers used to tell my folks, "Herman is doing average work, but he is a very good listener.” This followed me throughout my primary school career. In college, calculus got in my way of becoming a medical doctor. I changed my major from pre-med to psychology (putting my good listening skills to work). Now, I had the book-learning with real-life soon to follow!! My first job was at St. Vincent's Hospital Psych Pavilion on an acute care unit as a community mental health technician. This set the path for my journey of providing treatment for those with mental health challenges, addictions, and behavioral dysfunction. After all these years, I’m still listening to a myriad of clients while holding positions as a line therapist, program coordinator, clinical services director, and director of mental health and addiction nonprofits. I also have 23 years in private practice.
What should someone know about working with you?
Something potential clients should know is that it is of the utmost importance to me that you feel safe, respected, and trusted from the very onset to the very end of your therapy. I am fully aware that starting therapy or counseling can feel quite unnatural and stressful; after all, it's not every day that you are asked to take a risk or a leap of faith to begin to allow yourself to open up to a perfect stranger about your life or issues that might be very personal and even traumatic. I am eclectic, which means there is no cookie-cutter therapy from me. I am not beholden to one method of treatment or "my way or the highway" interventions. I've got a fantastic sense of humor, which I find extremely useful in therapy sessions when appropriate.
What else should someone know about working with you?
Trauma and trauma-informed therapy has come to the forefront of treatment. I firmly believe that no one, I repeat, no one is immune from the good, bad, tragic, and ugly of the past as well as present situations, events, and scenarios. Trauma is not the same for all people; what may seem like a mildly traumatic experience for one can feel like a severely negative experience for another. These traumatic experiences greatly impact how we see and feel our lives unfolding and why we feel not in control. Helping an individual gain a positive sense of control over their own life is, in my experience, the primary overall goal of the treatment journey.
“Helping an individual gain a positive sense of control over their own life is, in my experience, the primary overall goal of the treatment journey.”