“My goal is to help you create a stronger version of yourself.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I’ve always been drawn toward helping people find stability, particularly those with minimal resources. After my graduate training at Columbia University, I worked in substance abuse treatment clinics and conducted research into international trauma. For five years, I held positions with a resettlement agency and the UN in East Africa and northern Thailand where I worked in resettlement, child protection, gender-based violence, and mental health and psychosocial support with refugee populations. These inspiring experiences showed me the incredible resilience that people have, especially in the face of adversity. After returning to New York, I continued in the mental health field through social work and at a private practice of five women of color before launching my own practice.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
We start therapy wherever you are, then I work to build a space for you to explore different parts of yourself in creative and authentic ways. My interventions include cognitive behavioral techniques, motivational interviewing, compassion-focused therapy, and Gestalt psychology, but I tailor sessions to what will serve you best and help you work toward your overall well-being. My goal is to help you create a stronger version of yourself. It’s important for me to connect my clients with resources for self-development and self-care practices to utilize between sessions. I don’t think therapy is complete without attention to racial and cultural identity and intersectionality, so I also integrate that into our work.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
Accessibility is one of the biggest barriers for those seeking mental healthcare. The process of finding a therapist or wellness professional who takes the right insurance, has openings, and is affordable can be incredibly challenging. For people of color and other marginalized communities, the access is even more difficult. Due to historical and systemic (in)equity structures, marginalized communities are placed in lower income brackets, face higher rates of cultural stigma toward mental health care, and experience a lack of cultural competency among providers in the field. My commitment to making therapy and yoga more accessible is through offering sliding scales for LGBTQ+ and POC clients.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
Therapy is a way to gain different perspectives on your thought processes, behaviors, and emotions—and also on how you perceive the world around you. It presents you with ideas and tools for both understanding yourself more deeply and learning what coping mechanisms can help you through life’s challenges. Therapy can break down your core beliefs and modify your thinking to be more productive and positive. It facilitates a unique exploration of who you are and what can lead you to a more stable, joyful, and balanced life. There’s often a stigma that going to therapy is a weakness, but I see it as a strength. It takes a lot of courage to reflect on your inner being and examine deep parts of yourself.
How can yoga enhance mental wellness?
One of the most effective coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, and depression is mindfulness. Yoga is both a mindfulness-based physical practice and a healing modality. There’s a science behind why yoga makes you feel good, particularly when considering how the body physically holds trauma and stress. I’m able to create customized yoga routines based on your emotional states and where you hold tension or stress in your body. I also offer instructions for take-home routines which you can do alone to counter symptoms of anxiety, depression, and distress when they arise. My goal as a wellness yoga instructor is to teach you how to practice emotion regulation through an integrative mind-body practice.
“Therapy is a way to gain different perspectives on your thought processes, behaviors, and emotions—and also on how you perceive the world around you.”