“I see therapy as a tremendous opportunity to learn, grow, and create a version of yourself and life that is meaningful, purpose-driven, and aligned with your capabilities.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
Growing up, I had few close friends and valued deep relationships with my peers. As I grew older I realized that these connections not only nurtured me socially, but were also healing and transformative. This led me to a profession where I could be a partner with people in health, wellbeing, and illness, and transform stress, pain, and difficulties into opportunities to thrive. It also allowed me to find my own spiritual practice and establish a life that aligns with my own core values.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I see you as a whole person — mind, body, and spirit. I want to know about your problems, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and what got you so far in life. Simply being curious and motivated to create change is enough for us to get going. I partner with clients to create a plan and create room to process feelings and navigate struggles as part of a larger journey. I see therapy as a tremendous opportunity to learn, grow, and create a version of yourself and life that is meaningful, purpose-driven, and aligned with your capabilities. I integrate mind-body practices with psychotherapy and coaching, and address food, sleep, and lifestyle. At the core, I believe in human resilience and keep that belief central to my work with clients.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
Stigma, access and information about therapy. I come from a culture where therapy is “not for us,” but the therapy I offer embraces culture, race, gender identity, and immigration-based diversity. I am deeply committed to reducing stigma and normalizing therapy as “skills training” to address the lack of information and shed light on what it is and how it works. I am able to share my passion for the importance of mental health, therapy, and coaching through workshops for offices, organizations, schools, and public mental health institutions.
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 an act of courage because you are seeking to connect with a stranger, albeit a qualified one, to share your personal story. It’s rightfully intimidating and possibly uncomfortable. But it is only various acts of courage — in thought, perception, emotion and behavior — that lead to change. In my view, therapy is a powerful ally in helping you turn what's not working into a life much larger than you not having problems. Therapy is a partnership between two people based on trust, goals, and mutuality of purpose. It isn't a process just for when things are bad; it’s for when you anticipate, want to prevent problems, and have a desire to strengthen what's already working.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
Man’s Search for Meaning by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was a critical book in my professional growth. Frankl argues that while we cannot avoid suffering, we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His idea that one of our primary drives is the pursuit of meaning has greatly shaped my approach to therapy and living. Another recent book written by health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal, The Upside of Stress, furthered the science behind my integrative practice of psychotherapy and coaching. The message is simple and profound: the more you avoid stress, the more it affects you; the more you befriend stress, the more it can work for you. This book was a follow-up to a wildly popular TED Talk from 2013 that I share with clients, friends, and family.
“I am deeply committed to reducing stigma and normalizing therapy as a form of skills training.”