“Modern psychoanalysis has proven to be most relevant and comprehensive of the various models by which I’m influenced.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I began my professional life teaching elementary school children. After a few years, I realized that I needed to understand the motivations of the various people involved in a child’s life to best nurture social, emotional, and academic success in my students. At the same time, as a wife and mother of my own young children, I was curious about my own feelings, motivations, and behaviors. I sought out and became involved in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and training. Modern psychoanalysis has proven to be most relevant and comprehensive of the various models by which I’m influenced. As the child of Holocaust survivors, I had always felt that there was a unique quality to my family’s experience living an American life. We were committed to and articulate about our sense of compassion and justice, but haunted by the knowledge of what life could be like in a place where those values were diminished or absent. In order to help individuals and couples with their day to day issues, I have also obtained training in EMDR and both Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Internal Family Systems. I am also familiar with somatic therapy and attachment and trauma work. My training in modern psychoanalysis ties my life experience and work together.
What should someone know about working with you?
Immersing myself in the work of psychoanalytic psychotherapy has been life-altering for me. My psychological and emotional sense of self have both been enlarged by what I have learned and humbled by it. Further, I have observed how my way of working with clients translates into practical applications for addressing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and relationship issues.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
My ongoing training in a psychoanalytic institute has been invaluable in my work with individuals struggling in their relationships, particularly in marriages or other long-term commitments. My training in Internal Family Systems (IFS) and the Gottman system of couples work inform my work with couples. In addition, my training in EMDR, studying Janina Fisher’s work in attachment and trauma, and familiarizing myself with the Somatic Experiencing work of Peter Levine and others in the field of trauma, have built competency in working with the sequelae of trauma.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
The centrality of justice, looking out for the underdog, and expanding individuals' perceptions of their choices in life has been handed down in my family for generations. I see my commitment to therapy as the only work I could ever do.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I find that the research being done in analytic institutes on the efficacy of various psychoanalytic treatment techniques to be very exciting, as it addresses such questions as, “Science or art?”, and responds with an emphatic, “Both!” At the same time, we are incorporating emerging information from the fields of mind and brain science, such as the elasticity of the brain and its ability to renew itself and change. This leads to a larger repertoire of techniques that take both body and mind into account and enables us to treat more of the whole person.
“I see my commitment to therapy as the only work I could ever do.”