“I am humbled by the intimacy of nursing and honored by the privilege of assisting people in their healing process.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to psychiatry began as a student of mystical experience, contemplative practice, and criminal justice. I sought to understand the causes of human suffering and how to alleviate it through training in meditation, performing arts, psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and ultimately, psychiatric nursing and psychotherapy modalities. Along the way, I learned that change is the only constant, suffering is pain without acceptance, and embracing interdependence is a prerequisite of healing. Before becoming a nurse, I was a teaching artist serving incarcerated people and directed a music education program for teenage girls in NYC for over a decade. I worked in inpatient psychiatry for many years, keeping people safe during their most vulnerable times. I am humbled by the intimacy of nursing practice and honored by the privilege of assisting people to heal.
What should someone know about working with you?
James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” The symptoms or situations that bring people to treatment may be the result of coping or survival strategies that once made sense but no longer serve you. Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral growth takes practice; the good news is that even the tiniest change seeds more change, and that often begins by simply showing up. It is my job to facilitate self-expression and assist you in removing barriers to growth. We will decide together what that means for you. A comprehensive psychiatric assessment provides us with a starting point from which to establish mutually agreed-upon goals and treatment options.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
You don’t have to be in crisis to be in therapy! Therapy is an opportunity to recognize your resilience, cultivate your strengths and identify areas for growth, enhancing your ability to navigate difficult situations as they inevitably arise. The therapeutic relationship is a safe, judgment-free zone in which we cultivate self-acceptance, forgiveness, and the freedom to choose how we live. As a therapy client myself, I’ve made the mistake of sticking with a therapist when we just didn’t click. Trust me, we don’t take it personally if it’s not a good fit! The rapport between therapist and client is fertile ground for transformational growth, so give yourself permission to find the right person.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
As both a therapy client and practitioner, I appreciate the immediacy of telehealth. I value the face-to-face encounter as a multisensory experience of presence, but there are times when the stress of the commute outweighs the benefit of the in-person session. Telehealth is a great way to stay connected when schedules get busy or energy gets low. Technology shapes our consciousness as we adapt and therapeutic relationships grow in any safe container.
What does it mean to practice from a feminist, trauma-informed, antiractist, identity affirming orientation?
We do not choose the biological and environmental strengths and vulnerabilities we inherit. Human health and consciousness are shaped by the circumstances into which we are born, the challenges and advantages we grow up with, and the choices we make along the way. Dominant cultural forces (capitalism, white supremacy, individualism, patriarchy, heteronormativity) condition us to think, feel, and act in ways that perpetuate those very forces. And yet we have the power to disrupt the habitual mode of consciousness and learn to live life in a profound and transformed fashion, cultivating compassion, awareness, flexibility and resilience. In other words, we practice learning to respond rather than react. Within circumstances of structural oppression and personal trauma, there remains the freedom and responsibility to choose how you encounter each moment, to try new solutions to old problems, and to proceed knowing that history is not destiny.
“It is my job to facilitate self-expression and assist you in removing barriers to growth.”