“I like to think of therapy as a comforting space to risk vulnerability for the reward of freedom; therapy is conversation, therapy is partnership, therapy is relationship.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by people and their lived experiences; while it's considered nosey in some cultures, I find the unique human experience significant and special. As such, I developed an affinity for reality TV and stumbled on therapy, a space where fellow helpers connected and problem-solved with individuals and families in such a beautiful way. I realized, "That's what I want to do." Though the representation of therapists who looked like me was limited, I knew it was possible and I knew it was needed. In undergrad, after learning about a professor's private practice, I knew this was the path for me.
What should someone know about working with you?
I like to think of therapy as a comforting space to risk vulnerability for the reward of freedom; therapy is conversation, therapy is partnership, therapy is relationship. In the room, I’m not an expert; I’m a listener, a mirror, a supporter. By adding perspective, calling attention to blind spots, and supplementing with a healthy dose of humor, the goal is to help clients discover their "right way" to live in the silver lining. Whether discussing personal relationships, career aspirations, race, sexuality, finances, self-esteem, or an array of other potential challenges, I remind you where you put your keys to the toolbox. I also challenge you to take full and complete ownership of your process. Remember, I'm right there with you.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
For anyone hesitant to try therapy, the fact that you’re thinking about it is enough reason for you to take a chance. You're not wrong for feeling hesitant - for many years, society has told us that there's shame and weakness in seeking professional help. But the reality is that seeking help is a sign of bravery; I'd argue that there is overt or undercover self-love in taking the step to explore investing in yourself in this way. There is no loss in the exploration, only gain. Even if the inquiry doesn't end in a therapeutic relationship, you have taken a significant step and are more prepared if you decide to try this another time. You have nothing to lose!
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I appreciate that the culture is placing such high value on normalizing therapy. Though it may be displayed in unconventional ways — television, podcasts, apps — the prevalence is undeniable. The overarching sentiment has shifted from silence to, “If you need help, get some,” and it's saving lives. It has paved the way for platforms that have simplified the historically discouraging process and made help accessible to the folks that otherwise wouldn’t take that chance. We’ve shifted the narrative so that less people are suffering in silence and more are seeking support in community and care. And it shows!
Share a book that has informed your practice and explain why.
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, by Lori Gottlieb, is a therapist’s memoir of her journey into therapy as both a clinician and client. It humanizes those of us in the profession, reminding readers that therapists are people too with their own life experiences (and challenges) that can enhance what happens in the room. As a therapist, it reminded me that being myself, flaws and all, is as significant in the room, if not more so, than the training received to get into the room. It says that therapy, at its most basic level, is about human connection: Being seen and heard. And, just as we give therapy, it's important to get it as needed as well.
“By adding perspective, calling attention to blind spots, and supplementing with a healthy dose of humor, the goal is to help clients discover their "right way" to live in the silver lining.”