“I am a strong ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and I believe it is my responsibility to create a safe space for all clients.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I started out as an educator (MSEd) and then went back to school when I realized that trauma directly affects working memory. I now hold master's degrees in clinical social work and biopsychology and a doctorate in clinical social work. I worked in a psychiatric emergency room for many years with people of all populations and a variety of stressors. I now teach graduate social work students at New York University, Fordham, and Columbia University about best practices when working with clients.
What should someone know about working with you?
I care deeply about the wellbeing of my clients and I adapt my treatment model to each client. I am trained in psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches, so I use a mixture of both. I believe that it is important to understand the past to change the present, but my focus always starts on immediate symptom relief. I believe that we all have the capacity to heal and, as a therapist, I am here to support you on your journey. I am a strong ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and I believe it is my responsibility to create a safe space for all clients.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I feel that we never stop learning and I am always interested in expanding my knowledge. I am currently finishing my training in MIndfulness-Based Stress Relief and I'm a big believer that the mind and body are connected and that to treat one, we must attend to both. I am also trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, DBT, and in ERP (for OCD). I train other psychotherapists in animal-assisted therapy and grief counseling for pet loss. I feel that pets are a strong source of support that is often overlooked.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I come from a very diverse family and this has certainly shaped my worldview. I consider the personal narrative of each person and the way their reality has developed and recognize that no two people have the same viewpoint. I regard each person's experiences as real and valid and their interpretation of those events as unique to them. I recognize that there is a significant amount of bias in the world and that we must learn as much as possible about each other in order to improve. I have family members from all over the world and consider myself BIPOC and multiethnic.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My research is primarily on attachment theory, object relations, and the human-animal bond. I believe that connecting with animals and nature is a powerful way to repair our own wounded hearts.
“I believe that connecting with animals and nature is a powerful way to repair our own wounded hearts.”