“My goal is to give young people access to therapy that allows them to gain personal insight with a provider who understands and is ready to listen.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have wanted to work in the mental health field for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to learn more about the mind and human relationships and behaviors and I always found myself asking, “Why?” After earning a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and a MSW from Columbia University, I held jobs in addiction and recovery and college mental health. Through my experiences in these jobs, my focus shifted to working with young people and college students. Young adults are often grouped in with either adolescents or adults, leaving the intricacies of this age group behind. Young adults are curious and eager to gain insight into their own minds while dealing with changes in relationships, environments, passions, and their next steps. My goal is to give young people access to therapy that allows them to gain personal insight with a provider who understands and is ready to listen.
What should someone know about working with you?
I always tell clients that my job is to help you to help yourself and clients describe my approach as soft, supportive, and direct. I aim to create a nonjudgmental and empowering space for you to explore what you want out of therapy. During the first several sessions, I will help you identify your goals while reflecting on the personal strengths that have helped get you to today. I want you to remember that you have survived every day before this one and that you are resilient. We work toward your goals with a speed that is comfortable for you, checking in on your progress throughout. I incorporate aspects of mindfulness to help you cope and heal while providing psychoeducation to help you better understand your emotions and gain insight into your experiences. I often give homework to help build new coping skills and improve communication styles. Everything we work on will be together; I will always be transparent and you will always have a voice.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I recognize that I will never know everything but I will continue to learn and adjust in order to be the best provider that I can be. I love working with college students and young adults; due to the changing and adapting times, information on best practices and trends among young adults is constantly evolving. For this reason, it is very important for me to continue to educate myself and to collaborate with other providers. I seek out every training opportunity available and incorporate relevant information into my practice constantly. I also recognize that every person has different experiences and different needs. I encourage my clients to give me feedback (when they are comfortable) so that I can adjust accordingly. Remember, therapy is a client-driven experience and we will work together to help you reach your goals and grow.
If there was one thing you wish people who might be hesitant to try therapy knew, what would that be?
For the majority of my clients, I am the first therapist they have ever spoken to. This is often because the stigma or inaccessibility of therapy has stopped them from seeking it in the past. During the last session with a client, I always ask them to reflect on the progress that they have made and to give their past-self advice. I love this question because my clients reflect on their past beliefs about therapy and just how inaccurate the assumptions were. They often end up processing how their initial jump (or their first email to make an appointment) was the bravest thing that they did and that it led them to accomplish positive change. I wish I could tell people that there is no “right” reason to seek therapy and that you do not have to be experiencing a crisis to reach out to a professional. By speaking to a therapist, it does not mean that you are weak or that you do not have supportive people in your life. Instead, therapy should be seen as a valuable resource that anyone can seek at any point. All you need is an open mind and the motivation to give it a try.
“I always tell clients that my job is to help you to help yourself and clients describe my approach as soft, supportive, and direct.”