“I consider my niche to be young adults as I find the infinite possibilities of what life can look like as you solidify your identity and figure out what you want to be highly unique and rewarding.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was always a really social kid from day one! I always loved talking to others and learning about their experiences. I naturally fell into the role of the friend everyone would go to if they needed a listening ear. Little did I know as a kid that this was what I could do for the rest of my life! The idea of working with people and feelings instead of numbers and spreadsheets felt so, so right. I studied psychology as an undergrad at Fordham University while completing an internship at the National Eating Disorders Association and a research position at Mount Sinai Hospital. While completing my master’s in mental health counseling at Fordham University, I rounded out my experience working in a hospital with adolescents and at a community clinic. Years later, I am still at that clinic with a loyal caseload and new therapists whom I continue to supervise. I am excited to branch out on my own as well, reaching even more people at a time when mental health care is urgently needed.
What should someone know about working with you?
I have a background in working successfully with individuals from diverse backgrounds and ages 5-80, addressing challenges ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia. However, I consider my niche to be young adults as I find the infinite possibilities of what life can look like as you solidify your identity and figure out what you want to be highly unique and rewarding. In our first session, we will explore what brought you to therapy, your background, and your goals. I am NOT the therapist who sits back and says "mmhmm" every few minutes; in sessions, you can expect thought-provoking questions that deepen your insight, feedback based on your responses, and tools to figure out how to address and cope with challenges in your day-to-day.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Continuing education is a regular part of my work as a therapist and I am currently in an ongoing trauma workshop to expand my knowledge around trauma. Several colleagues and I started a therapist book club where we meet monthly to discuss a chosen book to improve our knowledge and skills. I also attend ongoing supervision meetings where I can make sure I am using as many of the tools and resources to help my clients as possible and uncovering my blind spots to ensure I remain as unbiased and objective as possible. Additionally, I am in therapy myself; as therapists, we often preach about self-care and helping ourselves so we can more effectively be there for those around us and it is important that I practice what I preach! Finally, in my spare time, I enjoy exercise and even teach group fitness classes. I plan to continue my research on how to effectively integrate exercise into traditional talk therapy.
How has COVID-19 and the push for racial justice and equality impacted your practice?
2020 sure blindsided us with the pandemic and brought racial tension — an issue that has been around for decades — to a head. While the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating in more ways than I can even list, I appreciate the increased awareness around our mental wellbeing in addition to our physical wellbeing. More people than ever considered entering (or re-starting!) therapy and I am excited to be able to expand my services and reach even more individuals with sessions that are more convenient than ever through video. I always offer space for my clients to process their lives, whether it is expressing anger and frustration, worry for themselves or their loved ones, or grieving the loss of people, jobs, socializing, school, or an overall sense of normalcy. Individual differences are a key element in therapy that should always be considered, acknowledged, addressed, and unconditionally accepted. The amount of trauma the BIPOC community and others from marginalized races have endured and continue to endure is significant and individuals deserve time and space to process how race (along with other elements of identify including but not limited to gender, sexuality, religion, ability status, and immigration status) has affected their mental health, influenced their experiences in the world, and shaped their way of being.
“I am NOT the therapist who sits back and says "mmhmm" every few minutes; in sessions, you can expect thought-provoking questions that deepen your insight, feedback based on your responses, and tools to figure out how to address and cope with challenges in your day-to-day.”