“While the therapy lays a foundation, action is up to you and it’s this action that leads to permanent change.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My road to becoming a therapist began with stories my mother told me. At eight years old, I learned of people who were able to help others simply through talking. Therapists seemed like magicians, pulling healing out of hats instead of rabbits. When I grew older and experienced my own challenges, I realized that sometimes the worst type of scars are those invisible to others. As a freshman at Penn State, everyone in my family encouraged me to go into finance, but my mother wanted me to follow the path of helping people. I left the world of finance and transferred to SUNY Stony Brook where I finished my undergraduate studies in psychology and went on to pursue a graduate degree. I knew I wanted to work directly with people, so to bring my dream to fruition I completed additional training at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Focusing Psychotherapy Institute.
What should someone know about working with you?
You are an expert on yourself and my job is to assist you on your journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment. I will guide you in finding the insights and connections that help you create the life you want. Our sessions are tailored specifically to your needs, your desires, and what you think is important. I incorporate a mind/body/spirit perspective and believe each of these plays a role in our everyday life. Between sessions, I often assign tasks that will help you apply effective strategies and techniques to real life situations. While the therapy lays a foundation, action is up to you and it’s this action that leads to permanent change. I believe that we as therapists must continually evolve, especially in the area of technology. Computers give us the power to reach people who were once unreachable. My practice is entirely done through secure video sessions for this reason.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
My first job after graduating with my master’s was in a hospital. During that time, I learned the value of being part of an interdisciplinary team and how beneficial collaboration is. I believe that working with other providers only improves the quality of treatment. When different disciplines bring together different points of view, it helps paint a fuller picture and reveal new options. I discuss referrals during our initial session and, if we agree on their benefit, I’m happy to make one. Mental health is just one aspect of your overall health and wellbeing; it’s important to explore all parts of the individual that make us whole.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
It’s scary to look for a therapist, with so many unknowns swirling around in your head. But the most important thing to remember is that therapy is always tailored to you and your needs. There is no right or wrong way; there is only your way. And there is no right or wrong reason to start. It’s a common misconception that counseling is reserved for those with serious problems or those who’ve experienced trauma. In truth, anyone can start therapy and anyone can benefit from it. As therapists, we are here to walk that path with you, no matter where it takes us.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
One of the primary things that I find exciting is the overall acceptance of teletherapy. There was once a long-held belief that quality therapy needed to be done in person. But as times have changed, views have followed. With newfound acceptance and proven effectiveness, teletherapy lets us reach people who were once inaccessible. The technology will only continue to evolve, change, and improve, so therapists must be willing to keep up! If we can, we’ll do our part to ensure that anyone who needs help, gets help.
“Mental health is just one aspect of your overall health and wellbeing; it’s important to explore all parts of the individual that make us whole.”