“It involves individual sessions where clients work through cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and/or traumatic issues while utilizing contemplative practices that access deeper consciousness via the body and spirit.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I am a retired New York City police officer who was a first responder during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Witnessing hurt and helpless citizens and experiencing the loss of fellow officers rattled my assumptive world and resulted in my own trauma. To manage my trauma, I joined POPPA (Police Officers Providing Peer Assistance), which consisted of police officers who volunteered their personal time to manage a 24-hour hotline and run group sessions that supported officers facing various crises. POPPA was so effective in helping me that I was motivated to become a peer support officer. Originally, I joined the program to offer the same support that helped me. However, my interests soon grew beyond those boundaries and I went back to school in order to obtain the necessary degrees and licensure that would enable me to gain professional flexibility and serve a broader community. Overcoming personal trauma was life-altering; it taught me to be compassionate to diverse experiences.
What should someone know about working with you?
My transpersonal approach utilizes an integral therapy in order to gain a fuller understanding of my client's context. It involves individual sessions where clients work through cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and/or traumatic issues while utilizing contemplative practices that access deeper consciousness via the body and spirit. During sessions, my client and I explore their presenting concerns in a safe and confidential environment without presumptions or judgments. I assist them in setting realistic goals toward attaining the life satisfaction they desire. My aim is to help them replace any self-limiting cognitive distortions with new and enduring personal insights.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
One of my personal core values involves a constant striving toward achieving an integrated self. My belief is that consciousness is embodied and that the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected and influence each other. Therefore, my therapeutic approach encourages healing from a holistic framework.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I wrote an article entitled, “Mixed-Methods Study of Spiritual Food Fasting: Transcending Sociocultural Stressors to Cigarette Smoking Cessation Among African American Women” for the International Journal of Social Science and Education. I pursued research in this area to complete my dissertation for my PhD program in transpersonal psychology. I chose the topic because spiritual food fasting has always helped me overcome challenges and gain insight into my personal life. Being surrounded by smokers all my life and having my father die from emphysema, I wanted to see if I could help people quit organically by using the same spiritual practice that was so powerful in my life. Seeing the outcomes of my research shaped my practice by confirming how traditional world wisdoms have value in healing beyond the mind/body connection.
“During sessions, my client and I explore their presenting concerns in a safe and confidential environment without presumptions or judgments.”