“I find it immensely satisfying to help people overcome adversity, become happier and more productive, and lead better lives.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I grew up in Russia and moved to the US as a young adult. This experience was full of challenges and major adjustments. A compassionate therapist helped me navigate life as an immigrant and adapt to the new culture without trying to assimilate. Having experienced the effect of psychotherapy on myself, I was in awe of what it could do to transform a person’s wellbeing. As a therapist today, I enjoy meeting people from different walks of life who come to me during hard times and share their stories. Big changes, such as living through a pandemic, starting a new job, going back to school, retiring, moving in together with a partner, or having a child, can be triggering and lead a person to seek help to gain clarity and develop better coping skills. I find it immensely satisfying to help people overcome adversity, become happier and more productive, and lead better lives.
What should someone know about working with you?
During an intake, I ask questions about a client’s history and family structure while focusing on the present moment and what brought them to therapy. My style is conversational and more active in the beginning in order to help clients explore their needs and formulate goals. I draw from several modalities, including psychodynamic, CBT, mind-body, DBT, and ACT to create a unique, personalized approach. Sometimes, when we target a specific behavior, I give homework. Other times, we explore events of the past, dreams, and childhood memories to discover the origin of the problem and find a way to work through it. I work with people who suffer from anxiety and depression, low self-esteem, impulse control issues, and post-traumatic stress as well as those whose issues are not easily defined by a diagnosis. I strive to help my clients gain awareness of their own thoughts, behaviors, and relationship dynamics.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I try to consistently improve and expand my knowledge of psychotherapy practices to provide the best care for my clients. Right now, I am particularly interested in learning more about how principles of mindfulness can be used to cope with stress, anxiety, and trauma. I see a great need for turning to meditation and breathing exercises as we go through challenges.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My experiences taught me the value of human connection; I believe that no one should have to navigate the ups and downs of life alone. For every client who comes to see me, I try to create an atmosphere of openness and trust and a sense of togetherness. Life is hard and the ability to seek help is a great strength.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
The stigma that used to surround psychotherapy and mental health is lessening, and this is good news. It is now easier for people to seek therapy sooner and not feel ashamed about asking for help. Technology makes it more accessible as well. I remember being skeptical that video sessions would be as effective as in-person sessions and I was surprised to be so wrong. Meeting with my clients in their environments allows me to understand them better and feel more connected to their lives.
“For every client who comes to see me, I try to create an atmosphere of openness and trust and a sense of togetherness.”