“I want you to get as much out of each session as you can.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a curious observer of others’ internal experiences from childhood, it seems I was destined to end up in this line of work. When I began studying psychology in college, this inquisitiveness only intensified. Throughout my training, I wondered: How can I talk to someone to help them see their world in a more adaptive way? How can I help someone make measurable changes in their life? My training in acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness meditation has not only been helpful for my clients, but the effects of this practice have also been life-changing for me personally.
What should someone know about working with you?
Overall, I work in an informal, friendly way, which very much suits my personality. My intake sessions are the most structured of my sessions, as there is simply so much information to gather in the beginning. As we progress together, you will notice our sessions may feel more like conversations—ones with some challenging questions at times. In session, in addition to providing supportive therapy, I will also use mindfulness meditation, homework assignments, role-play, and other behavioral techniques. I let the client lead, but when I find they may be avoiding something important, I will gently guide them to that important issue. I want you to get as much out of each session as you can.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I believe that the more information I can gather about a client, the better the treatment will be. I welcome collaborating with your psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or other medical care providers. I also welcome information from previous therapists, if that’s of interest to you. This information is always up to your discretion.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Many people are nervous to try therapy for the first time. Meeting a stranger who is theoretically going to poke and prod at you to find out your deepest, darkest secrets? That’s terrifying. In reality, it doesn’t work like that. We will work slowly, at a pace that’s comfortable for you. I work in a way that allows you to make new and surprising connections. I am here to ask the right questions and guide you to understanding the thoughts and feelings that trouble you in a more adaptive way.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My previous work in the neuroimaging division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute taught me a great deal about neuroimaging and the neuroplasticity that occurs in our brains well into late life. I learned that it’s never too late to try to change the way your brain is functioning. It’s never too late to try to think in a more adaptive way, or to, for example, adopt a meditation practice. As we develop these new skills, we don’t only benefit in a real-life way, but we can also see the benefits in both brain structure and function.
“It’s never too late to try to change the way your brain is functioning.”