“To summarize what I’ve learned: All people deserve an opportunity to speak to someone without judgment and all people deserve to be heard.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My desire to become a psychologist started fairly early on during a class trip to Rikers Island and the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility while I was in high school. I was drawn to the idea that people cope with their problems in different ways and to understand what a person struggles with, I must first learn who the person is. I spent the next several years exploring classes and practicum opportunities in various fields, including counseling, research psychology, sociology, police psychology, emergency preparedness, and stress reactions. I decided to specialize in forensic and clinical psychology and have spent the last ten plus years working in correctional settings, inpatient hospitals, outpatient clinics for dual diagnosis and substance abuse clients, and supportive living facilities for elderly mentally ill clients. To summarize what I’ve learned: All people deserve an opportunity to speak to someone without judgment and all people deserve to be heard.
What should someone know about working with you?
I often hear from clients that they left their previous therapist because they felt like they did all the talking in session and the therapy was unstructured. I’m a believer that progress needs to be measurable. I also believe that honest and open communication must flow in both directions in order to achieve the desired outcome. At the start of our intake, we will discuss the main issues that brought you into treatment. We will identify the level of distress they cause you and try to identify the desired outcome. Progress is measured periodically and adjustments are made to the treatment plan in a collaborative manner. Therapy should not feel like a burden nor should you feel like a passenger on your journey to self-improvement; I encourage my clients to drive therapy forward and I guide them as we move forward.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited by the general acceptance of mental health as a field. I am excited that clients with mental health issues no longer need to hide them or see a therapist in secrecy. I am excited that the negative stigma of having a mental health concern is slowly fading. I think there is a way to go and many minds to change but I am excited by the vast availability of mental health services to people seeking help. With the emergence of telehealth, clients can now receive the help they need from the comforts of home. Going to see the therapist no longer needs to be a chore or a burden and sitting in a crowded waiting room is no longer required. I believe telehealth therapy also opens the door to many mental health professionals who otherwise would not have an opportunity to offer their services to their communities. I am excited about a future that allows people to connect, work together, and find ways for self-improvement.
“Therapy should not feel like a burden nor should you feel like a passenger on your journey to self-improvement; I encourage my clients to drive therapy forward and I guide them as we move forward.”