“I may be the mental health clinician, but you are always the expert on you and I will always confer with you regarding your treatment.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was originally into computers and received a few certifications for IT while still in high school. As I grew older, my interest shifted from curiosity about computers and how they function to curiosity about the inner machinations of the human mind. I have experience working in a correctional facility, in hospitals, and within the community. My experience includes providing treatment to clients with severe and persistent mental illness, trauma, anxiety, substance use, and depression. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling. I am a licensed mental health counselor, licensed in the state of New York.
What should someone know about working with you?
I may be the mental health clinician, but you are always the expert on you and I will always confer with you regarding your treatment. If you happen to disagree with me after I've explained my clinical perspective, we will recalibrate and troubleshoot until we find what you feel resonates with you. It is largely for this reason that I generally refrain from giving advice, as you are the one who will have to live with the consequences of your life choices. I can help you explore them and make sure that you are looking at things from as many angles as possible, but your choices are ultimately yours to make.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
The comfort zone is a beautiful and safe place but unfortunately, nothing ever grows there. And so, I work to challenge myself by reviewing with fellow clinicians the methods and techniques they regularly use in their practice. Education is something most professionals have to keep up with to retain their credentials. That is knowledge. Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge. I hope to grow wiser every year.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I don't believe in moral judgments; people are not good and they are not bad. We all possess a great variation in what drives us and many of the faculties we use in making our own decisions are outside of our control. It is for this reason that I do not judge people for the choices they make; if someone is doing wrong, it is because they are not well or the system in which they reside is broken. The questions for remedy then become, "Is modern psychology/medicine advanced enough to assist this person?" and "Is the system that we reside in in need of some structural renovations?" In my experience, the answer to both these questions is “yes” (generally speaking).
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Much of what drove me to the mental health field involved the concept that people doing wrong generally need help instead of punishment. I'm excited to see things in the mental health and forensic landscape shifting from penalization to rehabilitation.
“If you happen to disagree with me after I've explained my clinical perspective, we will recalibrate and troubleshoot until we find what you feel resonates with you.”