“I prioritize safety in the therapeutic relationship and understand that change and growth are non-linear; they take patience, time, and compassion.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My interest in resilience and understanding how individuals cope with their personal struggles and inner conflicts has informed my lifelong interest in mental health. Pursuing a doctorate in social work provided the clinical framework for understanding human suffering and trauma via a social justice lens. Ultimately, my deep interest in the human mind led me to pursue further training and I am a certified psychoanalyst with the American Institute for Psychoanalysis (AIP), utilizing contemporary psychodynamic and psychoanalytic techniques and theories in my private practice. I am on the faculty of the AIP and supervise and teach in their training programs.
What should someone know about working with you?
Beginning treatment can be overwhelming. My goal is to create an environment that feels safe and nonjudgmental. I prioritize safety in the therapeutic relationship and understand that change and growth are non-linear; they take patience, time, and compassion. Each individual's personal variables shape their journey in treatment. I work well with individuals across the lifespan and specialize in the treatment of trauma.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I have a particular interest and specialty in early complex trauma. With PTSD, symptoms arise as a result of exposure to a specific traumatic event. Complex trauma (CT) is the result of early and frequent exposures to multiple traumatic events that are pervasive and invasive, interfering with the young child's ability to form attachments and develop a healthy sense of self. The emerging research on traumatic stress and its effects on the brain is an area that I am interested in continuing to learn about as a means of augmenting my overall understanding of the impact of CT on human development.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
As a relational psychoanalyst, I am always seeking to deepen my understanding of the therapeutic relationship, specifically, what personal attributes of the clinician are important for the client to feel safe and understood. Through my analytic training and doctoral studies, I have become particularly interested in Karen Horney's concept of wholeheartedness. Wholeheartedness provides an important lens for understanding the factors that are important when working with traumatized individuals. Wholeheartedness in the therapeutic relationship is an experiential construct, making it challenging to define, but it is the ability to be fully present while also being fully absent. Absence in this context does not refer to avoidance but, rather, being unshackled from one's own blindspots and inner conflicts so as to be wholly available and attuned to the other. It is a therapeutic ideal.
“I have a particular interest and specialty in early complex trauma.”