“I specialize in providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (EX/RP), which are goal-oriented, collaborative, and active approaches that aim to reduce symptoms and improve wellbeing by cultivating flexibility in thinking and behavior.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always been interested in understanding how other people experience the world and how their life experiences have shaped their perspectives. This passion led me to study psychology in college. My college was located in an underserved community, which inspired me to also study the sociological factors that influence health. These two academic interests allowed me to see mental health as a social justice issue, so I decided to pursue the field of clinical psychology in order to be able to effect change. I received my doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. I completed my predoctoral internship at Manhattan Psychiatric Center and went on to complete my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania where I received advanced training in CBT from its original developer, Dr. Aaron T. Beck.
What should someone know about working with you?
I specialize in providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (EX/RP), which are goal-oriented, collaborative, and active approaches that aim to reduce symptoms and improve wellbeing by cultivating flexibility in thinking and behavior. Treatment begins by setting specific goals for what you would like to work on and what you would like to work toward. These goals will steer the direction of our work and ensure that we are making progress toward the things that are most important to you. Working together, you and I will look at what factors are contributing to your struggles, develop and implement a plan for changing the patterns that are keeping you stuck, and work toward building the life you want to live. Change can be difficult and uncomfortable, but I will be there with you throughout with empathy, genuineness, curiosity, and perseverance.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
At the core of my approach to therapy is nonjudgment. Seeking therapy can be scary; we feel vulnerable when asked to share things that are difficult to talk about. We worry that we might be judged as strange, weak, or bad. I believe that one of the most powerful things a therapist can do is refrain from judgment. When you can trust that you will be accepted no matter what you share, it fosters openness and creates opportunities for change and growth.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to be able to conduct research as a supplement to my main role as a therapist. One of the studies I have conducted highlighted the importance of building positive beliefs in therapy. Traditionally, therapy has tended to focus on reducing negative beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. However, the results of this study suggest that increasing positive beliefs, emotions, and behaviors can have a greater impact on improving a person’s daily functioning. As a result, I strive to incorporate both strategies in my practice. Therapy is not only about getting rid of obstacles; it’s also about building the life you want to live.
“Treatment begins by setting specific goals for what you would like to work on and what you would like to work toward.”