“I strongly believe in the therapeutic alliance that occurs as the client is supported and empowered.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always enjoyed helping others and becoming a therapist was a natural path for me. Learning about mental illness and helping others repair their mental health as a treatable process excited me. I learned that this process leads to self-discovery, healing, and empowerment. We are living in times where people feel lost and misunderstood, but treatment works and mental health professionals can help.
What should someone know about working with you?
When working with clients, I provide a brief intake process to get to know you a bit. Once we complete the intake session, we will establish the frequency of our sessions. I recommend that clients commit to at least 90 days of therapy to work on improvement and growth. However, this is not a requirement, just a clinical recommendation. I strongly believe in the therapeutic alliance that occurs as the client is supported and empowered. In addition to the therapeutic work that will be done in sessions, it is also important to encourage educational resources and therapeutic assignments to help promote continued growth and understanding.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I believe in ongoing educational training and research to maintain my competency as a therapist. I network with other licensed therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners to assist with collaboration and professional growth.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My worldview on therapy goes back to the life of my grandmother and her experiences with what it meant to support others and be part of the healing process. She was a trailblazer for her time and empowered others to seek their purpose and to find their own voice. She faced racial trauma, sexist views, and economic abuse but it did not stop her from doing the work she did before she left this earth at the age of 98.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited that therapy is becoming accessible to clients in the form of teletherapy or in-office sessions. Telehealth allows therapy to be flexible, portable, connective, and effective while adapting to the needs and lifestyle requirements of busy humans dealing with the chaos of the world.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I opened the first bilingual outpatient clinic program in Albany, New York. This program was a satellite clinic that became a full-service outpatient clinic program that provided counseling, case management, and medical and medication services. The data used in this program helped to build the template for future bilingual outpatient programs in New York and Puerto Rico. I was also a partner in the REACT SAMHSA research grant program. The study measured and examined the importance of early intervention of medication-assisted therapy for high-risk populations housed in the Albany County Jail. I was the chairwomen for the Police and Race Task Force committee for Fulton and Montgomery counties as well. This task force gathered data through research with community leaders and law enforcement agencies and provided educational support to address implicit bias and promote understanding of racial inequality.
“In addition to the therapeutic work that will be done in sessions, it is also important to encourage educational resources and therapeutic assignments to help promote continued growth and understanding.”