“My style is a transparent representation of myself—open, warm, and zen.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’m a career switcher who decided to listen to my heart and take the plunge toward change. I’ve always been fascinated by history, people’s stories, and their perceptions of themselves and the world. But I noticed that sometimes those stories were distorted and people needed other perspectives—I wanted to be the person to help that change occur. Part of my training included working for several years at an outpatient clinic, which provided me with a wealth of experience treating a variety of conditions and life transitions with compassion. During the day, I work as a counselor for first-generation college students and students who receive special accommodations. I love my day job because it doesn’t feel like work.
What should someone know about working with you?
Effecting change in your life is a process—it doesn't happen overnight. But the first step is always choosing change. In a safe space without judgment, we will develop a bidirectional relationship. My approach is an eclectic blend of humanistic, behavioral, psychodynamic, and active/responsive therapy, with a dose of existentialist philosophy. I am warm, caring, and curious, and I use a gentle directness that my clients appreciate. My style is a transparent representation of myself—open, warm, and zen. Together, we will reinforce your inner strengths and resources to build resilience.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
We are often preoccupied with the well-being of others and don’t attend to our own needs. This can lead to a sense of uncertainty or of not feeling grounded. It’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed when you don’t have a sounding board for clarity or validation. Therapy can provide more insight into any relationship dynamics hindering your growth, as well as the quality of your relationships. It can help you become more mindful of self-destructive patterns and provide you with the courage to make changes. It can help you learn how to break patterns of unfulfilling relationships and cultivate deep and lasting ones instead. Through therapy, you can become your best self—alone or with others.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I’m also a professor at Long Island University - Brooklyn, where I teach courses about therapeutic interventions for youth, ethnolinguistics in counseling, and group therapy to master’s-level students. Teaching requires staying knowledgeable about trauma-informed approaches, CBT interventions in treatment, neurobiology, and the influence of epigenetics in diagnosis and treatment.
What are you most passionate about in the process of therapy?
I’m passionate about helping clients take control over their lives and their stories. I’m overjoyed when I get to witness my clients achieve self-actualization or have “a-ha” moments, whether those are moments of joy or pain. I feel honored to be able to help my clients on their journeys toward self-awareness, growth, and healing. I simply love the work I do!
“Through therapy, you can become your best self—alone or with others.”
Interested in speaking with ShawnTina?