“Part of counseling is being challenged on your assumptions, behaviors, and negative self-talk.... and I will challenge you!”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have been working in career counseling and mental health for over ten years! During this time, the majority of my experience has been at colleges and universities. I love working in higher education and I credit my various roles on campuses with sparking my passion for working on both career and gender-based issues as a clinician.
As the former coordinator for a campus women’s center and a member of a group that created a campus bystander intervention program, I learned what abuse and assault look like and how different the experience is for each person. I have put together violence prevention campaigns and facilitated psychoeducational groups to increase awareness of IPV. I am a confidential sexual violence advocate in Essex County, NJ and a certified clinical trauma professional. I know that traumatic experiences are often the root cause of feeling powerless.
What should someone know about working with you?
Part of counseling is being challenged on your assumptions, behaviors, and negative self-talk.... and I will challenge you! That is what helps us to focus inward, reflect on difficult feelings and experiences, and make lasting change. But I also know, especially when working with people who have been silenced most of their lives, that sometimes all you need is for someone to listen. So, I will do that too. I use a variety of approaches to meet the client's needs, including journaling, list-making, goal-setting, art, and book and video suggestions.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Access to mental health services via telehealth has been an incredible experience. I did not think I would enjoy telehealth but I have seen amazing progress from my clients. So many people are now reaching out for therapy because they know they can do it from home and I am glad to see people are putting their mental health first. I really look forward to more training and professional development opportunities that focus on using specific techniques via telehealth.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I am currently completing my PhD in counseling. My research is focused on college women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Learning how these young women define the abuse they experienced, how it affected their education and career choices, and the feelings of empowerment when they left the relationship has been very eye-opening.
“That is what helps us to focus inward, reflect on difficult feelings and experiences, and make lasting change.”