“Psychodynamic work is, in part, about free-association; it involves talking freely about something that a family member or friend might cast judgment on.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Coming from a large, first-generation, and business-oriented family, my journey to becoming a therapist did not begin in the traditional sense. It was ingrained in me at an early age that a career in business would pave the road toward success. As such, I started out studying business administration in college but later changed my major to psychology. After graduating, I ventured into the world of business and became a real estate agent. It did not take me long to realize that this work did not align with my core values. As a result, I entered the mental health counseling graduate program at Hunter College. This experience was fundamental to shaping my attitudes as a clinician, as it taught me the importance of taking risks and the fears associated with starting over. After graduating with my master’s, I developed my clinical knowledge through various outpatient clinics. I eventually landed at the Karen Horney Clinic where I completed an advanced two-year psychoanalytic fellowship.
What should someone know about working with you?
My postgraduate training in psychoanalysis at the Karen Horney Clinic has been a central influence in the way I approach therapy. When most people think of psychoanalysis, they typically envision blank-faced therapists who intend on exploring nothing but one’s childhood and parental relationships. I can assure you that is not how I was trained. One deterrent from people entering therapy is that they don’t want to relive their past and I get it. Although these struggles might be pertinent to discuss someday, I strive to make my relationships with clients as easy going and comfortable as possible. I believe it is important to discuss what is at the forefront of one’s mind and to explore what is leading you to therapy in the first place – then, the rest will come. The beauty of psychodynamic therapy is that nothing is forced; with time, the important parts of one’s life will be brought up. When working with me, the conversations will be free-flowing and relational.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
As a child and adolescent, I was an extremely curious person. I was raised to be caring toward others and to always be polite. I lived in a tight-knit Persian community, which led me to question life outside of this community. I questioned why I had to resemble the people within my own culture and share the same beliefs. Though my cultural background has shaped my overall worldview, my curiosity as a member in this community shaped my practice as a therapist. Psychodynamic work is, in part, about free-association; it involves talking freely about something that a family member or friend might cast judgment on. Understanding and living through that judgment, my therapeutic style is to be that curious outlet, listening to what you may be scared to say to a family member or friend in hopes of guiding our conversations to where I can help you reach your self-identified potential.
“Understanding and living through that judgment, my therapeutic style is to be that curious outlet, listening to what you may be scared to say to a family member or friend in hopes of guiding our conversations to where I can help you reach your self-identified potential.”