“Therapy can be a painful process—most often, though, the benefits outweigh the costs.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I first engaged in therapy as an adolescent, when I was faced with challenges related to grief and loss. I was hesitant at first because of the stigma around therapy, but I came to appreciate the power of a trusting relationship in nurturing both acceptance and change in the developing self. My personal experience enabled me to build resilience, helped me to be helpful to others, and motivated me to pursue this path through postgraduate training in clinical social work and Gestalt therapy. Therapy has allowed me to understand myself more deeply and live my life more meaningfully—and I endeavor to support my clients in a similar way.
What should someone know about working with you?
I strive to remain trauma-informed and anti-oppressive in my approach—and I am committed to safety, openness, and care in my practice. As an Australian born to immigrant parents and now settled in New York City, I have personal experience coping with cross-cultural transition. I am curious and sensitive to how race, ethnicity, and gender influence our existence in the world, and I am mindful of this in my therapeutic work.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy can be a painful process—most often, though, the benefits outweigh the costs. Therapy can help you learn to cope with painful feelings and difficult thoughts, and it can lead to a more fulfilling life and more meaningful connections. With the support of a curious and compassionate therapist, the inherent challenges in therapy can offer opportunities for growth and expansion of experiences.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I’m most excited about the cultural shifts in the mental health landscape—in particular how we are broadening our appreciation of the intersectionality of mental health experiences. Generally speaking, we are no longer seeing mental health and mental illness as personal matters that only have to do with the individual—they’re also influenced by societal factors, including the environment, the economy, and the political climate. This shift can lead to better access to treatment.
If you could pick one book that influenced your approach to therapy, what would that be and why?
“Existential Psychotherapy,” by Irvin Yalom, is that book for me. The main message I embraced from his book is that we can lessen our existential fears by living more fulfilling lives, connecting meaningfully with others, and considering the opportunities we can offer future generations. My role as therapist is to help others appreciate that our existence is precious, that connection and intimacy with others is liberating, and that change is always possible.
“My role as therapist is to help others appreciate that our existence is precious, that connection and intimacy with others is liberating, and that change is always possible.”