“My aim is to help you identify targets for change, reflect on roadblocks, and modify problematic patterns of coping into healthier, more sustainable approaches.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
From an early age, I realized the importance of unconditional acceptance and positive reflection. I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know in what capacity. I earned my undergraduate degree in education and mental health before working as a teacher and clothing designer. It didn’t take long, however, for me to realize that I was looking less forward to my job each day and more forward to my volunteer work with families and adolescents at Brooklyn-based shelters and hospitals. This insight led me back to NYU to obtain my graduate degree in clinical social work and work with adjudicated adolescents and their families.
What should someone know about working with you?
I favor an interdisciplinary and collaborative orientation rooted in warmth and compassion. My aim is to help you identify targets for change, reflect on roadblocks, and modify problematic patterns of coping into healthier, more sustainable approaches. I believe in the efficiency and efficacy of evidence-based practices such as CBT, DBT, and motivational interviewing, but not to the exclusion of humanistic and person-centered approaches. I will work with you to get to the source of your issues so that change becomes not only possible, but also sustainable and transformative. I maintain a goal-oriented focus while walking a line between reflective and straightforward communication, resulting in a therapeutic whole greater than the sum of its parts.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I understand the importance of working with an interdisciplinary team to ensure a client gets the best possible care. Every professional and support contact is crucial to an individual’s growth and development. Coming from a school-based background, working as part of a team comes naturally to me. Historically, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, educational specialists, protective services, and law enforcement. Individuals often present differently in a therapist's office than other arenas of their lives, so it is important to get the full picture in order to best inform care.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Deciding to start therapy is a courageous act. I understand how difficult it is to acknowledge that change cannot wait. I also understand that letting someone you have never met before see your vulnerability—and entrusting that person to embrace and nurture it—feels daunting. I honor the opportunity you have to accept your weaknesses, while also working with you to uncover and fortify your unique strengths. By exploring the roots of an issue, whether it is family conflict or trauma history, I will work to guide you toward a shift in perspective and behavior.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Mental health is ever evolving, but one major shift has been society’s attitudes toward it. People are becoming more accepting, and being in therapy is becoming less stigmatized. Buzzwords like “self-care,” “mindfulness,” and “meditation” are part of everyday vernacular. Society is more aware of common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and people are more likely to seek professional treatment. People are now understanding mental health as a facet of overall health and wellbeing. I believe the media and the way information has been consumed and shared all plays a key role in reducing this stigma. More young people are able to speak out and have their experiences heard and supported.
“I honor the opportunity you have to accept your weaknesses, while also working with you to uncover and fortify your unique strengths.”
Interested in speaking with Naomi?