“My approach is strengths-based and nonjudgmental, as I aim to instantiate your self-worth instead of pathologizing your experiences.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I began my professional life as a corporate attorney. While I found legal work intellectually stimulating, it felt like more of a career than a calling for me. I explored a transition to the mental health field through an MA in trauma studies at Tel Aviv University’s School of Social Work. I was thrilled by the possibilities of personal growth and change that I discovered in the practice of psychotherapy and deeply moved by the life experiences of those I encountered in this arena. I went on to complete another MA and then a PhD in clinical psychology at The New School, training at Mount Sinai-Beth Israel and several other CBT-oriented clinics, student counseling centers, and psychoanalytic institutes in New York. I completed specialized training in attachment theory and its clinical applications at U of C, Berkeley as part of my dissertation research on this topic. I also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy Program at Adelphi University.
What should someone know about working with you?
I will listen and respond to you carefully and compassionately, bringing many years of training and experience to the parts of your life and yourself that you share, helping you make sense of them and, where needed, heal them. My approach is collaborative; I take your cues about how you would like to work (i.e., whether you would like me to be active and directive or supportive and receptive). I prioritize your goals rather than arriving with an agenda of my own. My approach is strengths-based and nonjudgmental, as I aim to instantiate your self-worth instead of pathologizing your experiences. I work with children, adolescents, and adults across the lifespan as well as couples and families. Whether you have been struggling mightily and at length or mildly and briefly, I would be honored to meet you, get to know you, hear about what you’ve been going through, and join you in finding ways to make things better.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
The core values I bring to therapy, which shape my practice, include an unconditional regard for the inestimable worth of every human being, a deep and abiding respect for the uniqueness of each individual and his/her experiences and aspirations, a tenacious belief in the invincible human capacity for growth and change, and an insistence that life and all its constituents have inherent meaning (not that I know what that meaning is; it is, rather, something for you to construct or discover in our work together and along your own journey). Beyond these fundamentals, I am receptive to what you bring to our encounter and approach it, in the manner of the late, great psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion, “without memory or desire,” i.e., without preconceived notions of what should be or should have been, but rather, an openness to what is and what may yet ensue. I also believe in growth through action, not just intention, and strive to help you turn what we talk about into new realities in your life.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
To me, the most exciting thing happening now in the evolving mental health landscape is the increasing acceptance of and appreciation for therapy as a vital and valuable tool to help people thrive (whether they are suffering from mental illness or simply bearing the ineluctable burdens of the human condition). The stigma that has long haunted mental health treatment is receding, and more people — from world-famous celebrities to co-workers, neighbors, and family members — are willing to speak more openly about their inner struggles and the valiant efforts they are making to address them. Therapy is no longer the province of the “sick” or “crazy” (as it should never have been), nor is it considered a luxury or self-indulgence. Our society, on many collective and individual levels, is finally starting to recognize and make space for the reality that our mental wellbeing comprises the core of who we are and how we function in every domain of human endeavor.
“I believe in growth through action, not just intention, and strive to help you turn what we talk about into new realities in your life.”