“I take a very interactive approach with my clients and I pride myself on having a small practice so that I can devote time in-between our sessions to explore interventions and materials specifically tailored to them and critical to their progress.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have worked in a myriad of settings, including community mental health clinics, inpatient units, long-term psychiatric hospitals, correctional settings, and private practice. I am a certified forensic examiner and trained in family law divorce mediation (in addition to my clinical practice); I do surrogacy evaluations and immigration evaluations as well. My training is both cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic. My most recent interests involve incorporating mindfulness, self-compassion, and polyvagal theory to treat trauma and help individuals navigate life through successful relationships.
What should someone know about working with you?
I live in Florida but 99% of my practice is in NY and NJ. I have been doing virtual therapy for the past several years, so I have it down to a science. I work really hard to make sure the intake process is seamless and am readily available should there be any non-therapy issues (I offer conveniences such as scheduling by text). Most of my clients are professionals trying to navigate relationships at work and home and many have partners or young children. I also work with several college students. I take a very interactive approach with my clients and I pride myself on having a small practice so that I can devote time in-between our sessions to explore interventions and materials specifically tailored to them and critical to their progress.
Progress to me depends on how much the client puts in emotionally. Not everyone is ready to make changes but I challenge clients when needed. I am also able to sit back and let them guide the process.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
There's no one way to treat a problem! I am constantly learning whether it’s from trainings or my sessions themselves. I think the best approach as a therapist and in life in general is openness and flexibility.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I like to think that I’m open-minded; I have a set of strengths and specialized knowledge that I share with my clients but I believe that, ultimately, they are the ones who guide the treatment. I like to see results — I am not an inpatient person but I like to see that therapy is making change happen even if it is small (and sometimes change is small). If change doesn’t occur, I’m always open to trying something new. I believe one of the most important things is knowing my limitations as a therapist. Therapy is built on a relationship that either works or doesn't and clients need the right setting (therapist included) to thrive. Accepting that something isn't working and knowing when to refer to another therapist is a skill.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am really excited that virtual therapy has now become the norm. I have been working in this area for several years and I think people are now more aware that this is a very valid way to provide services in addition to face-to-face.
Can life experience help or hurt your effectiveness as a therapist?
I think life experience can definitely increase the level of empathy that therapists have for our clients. Still, it is critical to be mindful of any countertransference. I think this is especially true when going through a common struggle, such as a pandemic. .
“I like to think that I’m open-minded; I have a set of strengths and specialized knowledge that I share with my clients but I believe that, ultimately, they are the ones who guide the treatment.”