“We’ll work collaboratively to develop practical skills and strategies for managing difficult emotions and the stressors in your life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My first focus in the field of psychology was on behavioral economics—choice and decision-making in humans and animals. While I enjoyed this work, I started to become more interested in how we might take that behavioral research and use it to help people. At that point, I shifted my focus to counseling and psychotherapy. I earned a graduate degree in mental health counseling in 2012 and I have been working in the mental health field ever since. In addition to my private practice, I also spent seven years at the New York State Psychiatric Institute working in early intervention for young adults with psychosis. Today, I focus on providing adults in New York with evidence-based therapy.
What should someone know about working with you?
We’ll spend the duration of the first session covering the ins and outs of you and your life to identify where we should focus our time. Some of the first questions I ask will be about your goals and what you’re hoping to get out of therapy—then we’ll use that information to guide our work. Throughout therapy, we’ll work collaboratively to develop practical skills and strategies for managing difficult emotions and the stressors in your life. This will usually include a little bit of “homework” and other things to work on between sessions to bolster the work we do together.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Many people have never tried therapy, and a good number of people have tried therapy and had negative first experiences. It's understandable that you may feel nervous about making the time, financial, and emotional commitments to therapy. It is a risk! However, I've seen that risk pay large dividends for many people. If you suspect therapy could be helpful, then starting treatment may be a risk worth taking. You should feel empowered to raise these questions, concerns, and fears with your therapist as early as the first phone call.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
The development of cognitive behavioral therapy began in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It has continued to grow in popularity during subsequent decades because it’s shown to be an effective modality for treating many mental health issues. In more recent years, we’ve seen exciting “third-wave” cognitive behavioral therapies growing in prominence. One of the most popular third-wave approaches is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). This approach and others like it offer a compelling supplement to CBT principles. For example, ACT integrates CBT with other philosophies—such as mindfulness and acceptance—which gives therapists more options and tools to tailor therapy to the particular needs of our clients.
How can clients prepare to make therapy more successful?
I believe that the therapeutic process thrives on feedback—this includes feedback from therapist to client, and from client to therapist. I encourage clients to come ready to ask questions and express the thoughts/emotions that come up while in therapy, but this isn’t always easy! I strive to provide a nonjudgmental, supportive atmosphere that allows clients to work through obstacles while having open and honest conversations about their progress, motivation, and challenges.
“I strive to provide a nonjudgmental, supportive atmosphere that allows clients to work through obstacles while having open and honest conversations about their progress, motivation, and challenges.”