“Every client comes with a unique life story, personality, and set of goals—and, throughout our sessions, I focus on tailoring my approach to what that individual needs.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Clinical work has been my passion and my drive all my life. I believe that providing individuals with access to appropriate, effective, and accessible mental health care is essential—it can help them begin to accomplish their goals and thrive in their lives. I have training in cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused CBT, mindfulness therapy, STAIR, solution-focused therapy, behavioral activation therapy, and brief strategic therapy. I believe in using a holistic approach and looking at my clients’ lives in their entirety.
What should someone know about working with you?
Every client comes with a unique life story, personality, and set of goals—and, throughout our sessions, I focus on tailoring my approach to what that individual needs. I work to gain the necessary insight to fully understand the patterns and reasoning behind behaviors and feelings—and then implement interventions to modify those patterns. It’s important to understand the root of the problem, but it’s just as important to learn how to implement appropriate and necessary coping skills to live a productive life.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy is hard, and it takes a lot of courage to dive in—but once you do, the change you’ll see in your quality of life will make it all worth it. Imagine you’re living in a room with a very dim light, which you’ve considered to be the norm all your life. Suddenly, one day, you realize there are windows in the room covered by curtains. You might hesitate in pulling the curtains open. You might wonder if it’s necessary. But once you pull those curtains open, you’ll feel the bright sunlight and the cool, refreshing breeze. That’s when you’ll realize how much you’ve been depriving yourself in life. That’s therapy.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Mental health treatment is constantly changing and growing. As more individuals take the leap into therapy, we’re learning so many new things—and it requires therapists to explore new techniques and tailor treatment to each individual case. I believe in using a holistic approach when providing clients with therapy. Humans aren’t made up of just one component—their bodies, emotions, minds, and souls all inform who they are. Therefore, it’s important to work with all aspects of an individual to ensure a well-rounded healing process. In our sessions, we will identify your goals and work on one area of your life at a time—or simultaneously, if that’s what you want. You will always be in charge of your own therapeutic healing journey.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
Throughout my experience at a mental health clinic, I witnessed the effects of socio-economic backgrounds on mental health. As I moved into working at Columbia University and focusing on neurological research, the connection between limited access to proper mental health services and neurological illnesses—such as earlier onset of dementia and delays—became clear to me. Research has shown us that access to effective, mindful, culturally sensitive mental health care can affect many aspects of an individual's life, ranging from physical health to the ability to function. Research in diverse socio-economic-cultural populations is very important in helping inform our work.
“Therapy is hard, and it takes a lot of courage to dive in—but once you do, the change you’ll see in your quality of life will make it all worth it.”
Interested in speaking with Luz?