“I bring my experiences as a therapy client to every client relationship, embracing the empathy learned from "the other side of the chair”; I know it’s challenging to ask for help, especially for men.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Therapy wasn't really ever a tangible thing for me until I encountered some bumps in the road while in college. Therapy helped me discover how to turn negatives into positives. I know what it's like to ask for help, and it was well worth it for me. I bring my experiences as a therapy client to every client relationship, embracing the empathy learned from "the other side of the chair”; I know it’s challenging to ask for help, especially for men. You need a therapist who gets you because the return on investment is the most important part of being in therapy. Over time, I recognized that there were many male clients who wanted to work with me just because I'm a guy. As a result, I became mildly obsessed with helping others transform the way we think about gender, men's issues, mental health promotion, and relationships through the lens of mindful masculinity. Eventually, I became a new dad, and this major life transition helped motivate me to specialize in paternal mental health.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach to therapy is personalized and integrative while helping you feel seen, heard, and understood. Therapy moves at your pace, as I try to put you in the driver's seat. Our work is collaborative, and you can expect us to become partners while we safely guide you through the therapeutic process to promote mental health and maximize wellness. I'll frequently and judiciously share parts of me and my life experiences while working as your therapist, since I believe that clients can benefit most when the therapeutic relationship is actually relatable. You can learn more about me and my practice through a free phone consultation at which time we can find out if we will be a good fit to work with each other. I use a HIPAA-compliant, secure client portal system where clients can log in, complete consent forms, book appointments, opt-in or opt-out of appointment reminders via email and text message, and make payments online.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I often use my paid membership through Clearly Clinical, which is an online podcast, to listen to episodes on clinical, therapeutic, and ethical topics; I have to earn a passing score on a brief quiz for all of the episodes that are approved for continuing education credits by the Association of Social Work Boards. Moreover, I regularly search for continuing education opportunities using my paid memberships through the National Association of Social Workers and the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work. Another way that I try to increase therapeutic effectiveness is to engage in deliberate practice: After I finish appointments with clients, I sit and reflect on things in a 10-15 minute meditation during which time I process and note down one error and one success from that day on an index card. I regularly analyze this data, and I deliberately seek consultation, training, or education in specific areas where I notice any patterns of errors.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
The values for my practice, Verve Psychotherapy, are intentionally adopted from the core values of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world with more than 120,000 members. I'm educated, trained, and licensed as a clinical social worker, and I'm an active member of NASW. Therefore, I'm bound to the NASW Code of Ethics and its values, principles, and standards that guide social workers' everyday decision-making and professional conduct. The values of NASW are equal to my values, which include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, competency, and integrity. Moreover, my practice signed Hello Seven's Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge because I believe it is one specific example of how I can put my values into action. Lastly, I believe that therapy should be accessible and affordable, which is why I offer a sliding scale for clients who need it.
“Eventually, I became a new dad, and this major life transition helped motivate me to specialize in paternal mental health.”