“We each carry a story that defines our life journey; I see my job as helping clients identify and refine their story by expanding their perspective and helping them let go of what no longer serves them.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I grew up the oldest child in a large, multi-stressed family. I later discovered that the origin of the stress was unprocessed trauma that my parents had suffered earlier in their lives. I began my career as an elementary school teacher and found the same dynamics with many of my students. After school, I facilitated drug prevention groups with young teens and soon decided to get my master’s in social work. I trained and supervised teachers in running groups, eventually moving to a drug prevention counselor position and then clinical supervision at a community mental health clinic in an urban setting. Throughout these early experiences, I was struck by how often I related to the dilemmas and suffering of my clients. I returned to the Family Therapy Institute Program, which helped me see how the systems we live in impact our lives. I have spent the last 25 years dedicated to addressing social justice issues in sessions and in the larger community.
What should someone know about working with you?
We each carry a story that defines our life journey; I see my job as helping clients identify and refine their story by expanding their perspective and helping them let go of what no longer serves them. I enjoy working with people who are curious and open about discovering who they are and what their life purpose is.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I have always been interested in how therapy intersects with spirituality, especially since my work with intrafamilial sexual abuse. Fifteen years ago, I discovered the constellation work method, which integrates systems, individual history, and spirituality. I have been active in studying, participating in trainings, and taking part in a monthly peer group where we work on our own issues using this method. It has changed my life and the lives of my clients in so many ways! Being in regular consultation with colleagues keeps me grounded and motivated to continue to help my clients heal from trauma. It has also been invaluable in understanding how collective trauma impacts us and how to let go of its ongoing legacy.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am surprised by how effective telehealth is. The connection between myself and my clients seems more intimate and many clients seem more comfortable in their own environment. With the pressures of work and home responsibilities and the stress of traveling on Long Island, clients appreciate the ease of meeting on Zoom. Since I work very collaboratively with clients, meeting virtually seems to reinforce this sense of working together as partners.
“I enjoy working with people who are curious and open about discovering who they are and what their life purpose is.”