“Progress is not measured in positive feelings but by whether or not we are creating generative tension that pushes you to examine your life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My journey to becoming a therapist started when I was a child. Growing up, I was witness to the impact that a good therapist had on the people I loved and what I saw inspired me. As I grew older, I too experienced the benefit of having people in my life to listen, support, and guide me and I recognized that I needed to support others in the same ways that my loved ones and I were supported. My primary focus was working with adolescents in schools because of the impact that people had on me at that age. As a gay man, I found myself drawn to working with LGBTQ+ people and knew that I wanted to give back to my community and any and all individuals who feel disenfranchised because of their identity. Working with these populations led me to understand the resilience that exists in everyone regardless of age or identity and the capacity that we as people have to create change in ourselves.
What should someone know about working with you?
As a therapist, the most important part of the process for us will be the relationship we build. I strongly believe that the most healing aspect of therapy is the connection between therapist and client. As such, it is important that I meet you where you are. The intake process will be a simple conversation about what has brought you to therapy in the present moment and where you have been in your life. Progress and healing are not always linear — you will have sessions that make you feel great afterwards and some that don’t. Progress is not measured in positive feelings but by whether or not we are creating generative tension that pushes you to examine your life. I am happy and willing to work with all people and with all types of concerns; there is no problem too big or too small for therapy.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I firmly believe that, in order to continue to be the best therapist for others, I have to continue to educate myself. There is no one way to be a therapist that will work with every person and it is my responsibility to make sure that I continue to learn new ideas, perspectives, and models in order to provide the best therapy I can. I make sure to engage in supervision often and frequently speak with my peers and colleagues about new opportunities for learning. I seek out different courses and classes in order to steep myself in advanced clinical knowledge. Most importantly to me, I listen to my clients. I am always striving to make sure that I listen to what my client has to say about how therapy is going for them and that I adjust as needed. If something comes up about our differences in session, I educate myself and bring it back to session so that I can ensure that my client feels seen and heard.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Being a therapist is an important part of my identity, but at the core of that is my identity as a social worker. For me, social work is about justice and equity and those two values are at the core of all that I do. My goal is to ensure that therapy feels validating and I cannot do that without recognizing my own privilege. I want you as a client to feel safe to explore all aspects of your identity with me regardless of where we overlap and where we differ.
“I am happy and willing to work with all people and with all types of concerns; there is no problem too big or too small for therapy.”