“I came into mental health to help each client live their fullest life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My first job was with the US Army as a medic. Upon returning from service, I went to Hunter College to get my bachelors in nursing and I worked as a registered nurse from 1996 until 2011, including 12 years as a psychiatric nurse. In 2011, I became a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. I have completed multiple courses and trainings over the last 30 years and have experience in treatment planning, CBT, psychotropic medication management, advocacy, and working with clients from diverse backgrounds. Mental health is an underrepresented and underserved area where clients suffer without treatment and social and cultural biases may contribute to someone not accepting care. I came into mental health to help each client live their fullest life.
What should someone know about working with you?
During the intake process, I will inquire about presenting issues, past medical and psychiatric history, medication history, and family history. I’m a good listener who provides culturally sensitive, goal-oriented, and structured care in accordance with the client’s best interest. I want my clients to live their fullest life and I consider it progress when clients are able to manage their challenges with the help of medications and therapy.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Someone once told me that two heads are better than one. I love working in collaboration with others and I often work with other psychiatric providers such as NPs, MDs, psychotherapists, nurses, clerical teams, and administrative teams. I believe comprehensive care is always better than getting care from one person.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
People are becoming more aware and accepting of mental health care, and the advances in psychopharmacology thrill me, too. Mental health issues cross all boundaries, regardless of race or ethnicity, and no one is immune. Online access to care makes it more accessible to the general public. Now, people can get therapy from their living room, their car, or from any safe place of their choosing.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I co-authored and published a clinical research article titled “Weight Changes and Characteristics of Patients Associated with Weight Gain During Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment.” The study investigated the psychiatric medications that increase appetite and cause clients to gain weight. My research findings allow us to speak to clients about our current knowledge and provide them with a better understanding of a medication’s side effects.
“I’m a good listener who provides culturally sensitive, goal-oriented, and structured care in accordance with the client’s best interest.”