“My approach to therapy is radically different from those of my colleagues in the field; I believe authenticity is best cultivated in brave and equitable spaces.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist began in my early childhood; I am a survivor of child abuse and sexual abuse. Experiencing the horrors of the world as a child ignited an insatiable curiosity for what shapes a person. Additionally, I knew I was different from other kids growing up in regards to my gender, sexuality, and poverty. I experienced a great amount of shame and isolation due to my differences from others, though I was determined to prove to the world that I was worthy even if I didn't fundamentally feel that way internally. For so long, I engaged in toxic patterns of coping through consumption of alcohol. I engaged in sex work to assist me with financing my move to New York City for grad school and have struggled with my own suicidality throughout my life. A couple years ago, my brother passed away and I was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter. All of my experiences in life have contributed to my personal and professional growth and they inform my practice as a therapist.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach to therapy is radically different from those of my colleagues in the field; I believe authenticity is best cultivated in brave and equitable spaces. Therefore, I offer myself as a conduit of life experiences to assist my clients in their own journeys of healing. Our free consultation will be an opportunity for you to interview me and ask me anything you want to know before agreeing to schedule a session. Our first session together will be one in which I begin to learn about important aspects of your life, your presenting concerns, and how we will work together; I will also demystify the therapy process. Listening, validation, curiosity, and challenging are important features of my work. Honesty, transparency, and authenticity are important traits I bring into my therapeutic spaces as well as the brave spaces into which I have the privilege of being invited. If you’re looking for a therapist to actively engage and hold you accountable to achieving your goals, then reach out.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Since I entered graduate school in 2015, I have been committed to dismantling my internalized superiority as a white-identified clinician. This process has included engagement in individual therapy, professional workshops, and group processes regarding the topics of whiteness, white supremacy/toxicity, and white fragility. I bring these lessons and personal research to my practice as a clinician, a clinical supervisor, and a consultant. Further, I continue to engage in professional development with regards to updated trauma-informed practices as well as updated practices for gender and sexuality-affirming care and infusing anti-oppression into therapeutic practices. Collaboration with other wellness providers is an essential part of my practice both personally and professionally.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I have had the privilege of working with diverse populations, which has reframed my approach to therapy in order to ensure that it is more adaptable, accessible, and demystified. Therapy for too long has been a space that perpetuates the harmful ideologies in psychology that are rooted in whiteness, capitalism, and dehumanization. Therefore, I draw upon queer, intersectional feminist, humanistic, multicultural, trauma-informed, decolonized, sex/body positive, and anti-oppressive theories to foster an equitable and collaborative relationship. Cultural humility is another essential feature of my clinical and personal practice; I actively decenter myself and my privileges to focus on the harm of my clients in regards to any of their marginalized identities.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I graduated from Point Park University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and completed a research study regarding the ongoing coming out process for queer men. I completed a dual master’s degree, earning a Master of the Arts and a Master of Education in mental health counseling from Teachers College at Columbia University. Here, I took extensive coursework and engaged in research initiatives surrounding queer and gender expansive microaggressions and mental health concerns. I completed a clinical internship at Mount Sinai West - The Addictions Institute of New York, working primarily with the Crystal Clear Project that assisted queer and TGNC clients with crystal methamphetamine dependence. I started my career at a substance use treatment program at Montefiore Medical Center, working with clients who had mental health, medical, and substance use concerns. I worked at a queer-affirmative group private practice before starting my own private practice.
How do you define queerness?
Queerness is the radical rejection of the assumed and perceived normality in the world. Queerness is a space of becoming, a utopia, and a livelihood for anyone and everyone seeking creativity, liberation, acceptance, playfulness, and endless possibility.
“Therefore, I offer myself as a conduit of life experiences to assist my clients in their own journeys of healing.”