“By exploring multigenerational family patterns, we can get to the root of the problem and help clients enhance their insight.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist started about 19 years ago when I left the business world (I have a BA in international marketing) to start my family. I then started to work as an office manager in my husband’s psychiatric private practice. I got to know many clients and their stories as well, as I became familiar with the mental health system and different treatment modalities. I decided to pursue a MA in clinical mental health counseling to help people. My training included working in both inpatient and outpatient RUMC psychiatric hospital settings in Staten Island. The training provided at the hospital gave me better insight into mental health disorders; it made me more passionate and understanding about mental health struggles.
What should someone know about working with you?
I use a collaborative approach and customized treatment for each client. Commitment is an important part of therapy. I recommend one session per week and a minimum of 12 sessions. The first two sessions are dedicated to an assessment, which includes information about the client’s situation and presenting issues as well as obtaining a psychosocial and cultural background. By exploring multigenerational family patterns, we can get to the root of the problem and help clients enhance their insight. Followed by cognitive behavioral techniques, this intervention allows the breakdown of the negative behavioral patterns preventing the client from achieving a balanced life.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I come from a multicultural family. We speak three languages at home: English, Spanish, and Russian. Being an immigrant myself makes me more understanding and respectful of different cultures and traditions. I provide therapy in all three languages to adults and children from various cultural backgrounds. I understand and practice the values of nuclear and extended family on a daily basis.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
COVID-19 accelerated the development of remote therapy. It provided an opportunity to get treatment for more clients in their home settings. It is an invaluable service for many people, especially those with limited social mobility.
What approach do you use in treating children?
Children and adolescents are part of a family system. Very often, they become an identified client. When there is a problem in a family, children act out. The parents need to understand that a child can’t be magically fixed in therapy if the parents don’t work on their own problems. There is a saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Treating a child/adolescent takes a collaborative approach as well.
“Followed by cognitive behavioral techniques, this intervention allows the breakdown of the negative behavioral patterns preventing the client from achieving a balanced life.”