“I operate by listening, seeking to understand your world, and working with you to find a style that will move you forward and help you feel understood.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve always known that I wanted to work in a field that focused on relationships. Following college, I applied to a psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania and knew that I was on the right track when I found myself looking forward to going to my internship. In my first experience with therapy, I worked with children and adolescents and quickly learned how therapy was critical in giving a voice to those who often feel unheard. I learned that whether I was working with a child or adult, the main goal of therapy was providing others with this voice and creating a space for them to speak freely and have a chance to be heard. I learned how therapy allows another to be honest, to be validated, and — at times — to be challenged without fear of repercussion. I learned how the therapeutic relationship in itself can be healing and I value the opportunity to be a part of such a relationship throughout my work in hospitals, clinics, and private practice.
What should someone know about working with you?
I often find that we over complicate things. That’s not to say that life isn’t complicated or difficult as it surely can be! Rather, I believe that we tend to stigmatize or put labels on behaviors and emotions that are, in reality, very understandable given one’s life. Behaviors often make sense at one time or another. As a therapist, I believe my goal is to meet you where you are given where you’re coming from. Some people have specific behaviors they want to change, some people want a space to be heard, and some people aren’t quite sure why they’re coming to therapy but know something isn’t working in their current life. I operate by listening, seeking to understand your world, and working with you to find a style that will move you forward and help you feel understood. While I’ve been trained in various forms of therapy, I don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach and, through discussion and exploration, I will work with you to find what meets your needs best.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
You’re not alone in that thought. I’ve found that a large majority of people who start therapy question whether they need it and whether it will work. They may also worry about having to share things they feel embarrassed about or feel are too personal. I believe therapy is what you make of it. I will always start at your pace and work collaboratively to figure out what you want to gain from therapy. Therapy can be a space where you can vent in ways that aren’t possible in everyday life. Therapy can be a place where you explore how your past affects your present. Therapy can be a place where you have a goal and we work toward meeting that goal together. Regardless of how you choose to use therapy, I always remind my clients that you choose what you share and the pace at which we go. I also think it’s important to know that therapy can be enjoyable! While there are certainly times for more serious reflection, I also try to incorporate humor into my work as I believe laughing and being able to delight in the lighter side of things is a need we all have.
What is one thing you think we need more of in therapy?
I think we often begin therapy by looking at what’s wrong and miss a lot of what’s right. That’s not to say that pain, loss, sadness, worry, or a desire for change aren’t primary focuses of therapy. But I also find it most helpful to use a strengths-based approach where we consider your qualities of resilience just as much as anything else. There are many reasons we act and feel the way we do and, while the outcomes may not always be positive, I think it’s essential not only to understand why we feel and act in certain ways but also how to harness true qualities of meaningful adaptation and fortitude. This helps us move forward.
“While I’ve been trained in various forms of therapy, I don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach and, through discussion and exploration, I will work with you to find what meets your needs best.”