“I’m curious about what drives us to form or break bonds with each other and how we can contribute to society in ways that allow our own needs to be met.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have spent my whole life trying to understand the basic instincts and needs that sustain human connections. I’m curious about what drives us to form or break bonds with each other and how we can contribute to society in ways that allow our own needs to be met. I obtained my master’s in social work from Columbia University and completed additional training in EMDR, an evidence-based treatment for healing from traumatic experiences. Working in non-profit organizations in New York City with some of the most marginalized and oppressed populations taught me that we are all performing a balancing act. We’re balancing our resiliency with our vulnerability, our need for connection with our individuality, and our search for depth with lightness. Through this, I am able to maintain a sense of calm in the face of chaos. I enter every session with a grounded presence, a sense of humor, and an ability to empathize with even the most complex issues.
What should someone know about working with you?
I believe in the importance of balancing out inherent therapeutic power structures through active and direct communication, warmth, honesty, and a strength-based approach. I integrate lessons from Eastern cultures with ideas about holistic care, such as the importance of sleep, sun, movement, and an awareness of our core beliefs, needs, and values. I think it is important to sit with discomfort and I always encourage individuals to tap into their own wisdom in order to find healing.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy can be deeply profound and life-changing, but its success depends on building a relationship of respect and honesty between client and practitioner. Being seen and understood by another, taking time just for yourself, and focusing on insight and growth can radically transform your perspective on the most pressing challenges in your life. Therapy can influence the way you look at things like depression, anxiety, and trauma. I encourage folks to empower themselves and choose a therapist with whom they feel safe and affirmed.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited about and constantly working toward the elevation of therapists, writers, and speakers of color as well as the normalization of white therapists exploring their own privilege and power within the therapeutic relationship. Racism and dysfunctional power dynamics have always plagued the field of social work and psychoanalysis, and, as cities seek to defund the police, communities are exploring how mental health providers oppress marginalized voices. This is a profoundly important process, which I hope will create more equitable and accessible psychological services for all of us.
How do you think virtual therapy will shape mental health treatment?
COVID–19 shed light on what is possible with virtual mental health treatment. Virtual therapy reduces barriers like access to services, which is especially important for individuals in rural communities and those with busy schedules. What’s more, the research shows that it is as effective as in-person services. I believe that I offer a uniquely relational and connected approach to therapy and that I am able to transcend the limitations of virtual therapy. I am excited about expanding my reach to individuals who may not have been able to access therapy previously.
“I enter every session with a grounded presence, a sense of humor, and an ability to empathize with even the most complex issues.”