“I work well with people who are in the habit of self-examination and who want support around taking steps toward their own personal goals.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was raised with Jewish values of social justice and I want to make the world a better place. My father was a psychologist who saw his clients in our home; I loved his study, with all of its books about the mystery of how minds work and how human beings function. Eventually, I became obsessed with that mystery myself and pursued psychology in college, with an eye toward neuroscience in my studies. By practicing therapy, I get to learn how the brain works and where cutting-edge neuroscience intersects with ancient spiritual practice. Then I can apply this knowledge to my relationships with clients. Since earning my graduate degree, I’ve worked with people dealing with serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I’ve also worked with people who function quite well in life but simply can’t find a way to feel satisfied. After I had a difficult experience with my own pregnancy and childbirth, I decided to focus my work on women in the perinatal period.
What should someone know about working with you?
In our first session, I will learn as much as I can about you, what you’ve gone through in your life, and what you want to get out of therapy. After that, we will make a plan to move forward. For some, it’s most productive to have an unstructured approach, which is referred to as “humanist” and is how I was originally trained. For others, especially if they have a specific problem they are trying to solve, goals are hit faster and I take a more active role, assigning homework and providing education about psychology throughout our sessions. In those cases, I use my postgraduate training in acceptance and commitment therapy to structure our work. I work well with people who are in the habit of self-examination and who want support around taking steps toward their own personal goals. I am also specially trained to help women through pregnancy and postpartum, a time that often brings on unexpected emotional challenges.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
One of my favorite parts about being a therapist is that I have the responsibility to learn as much as I can about how the mind works. Your session fee doesn’t just pay for an hour of therapy; it pays for the time I spend learning from experts in the field so that I can bring that knowledge to you. As I am working on a certification in perinatal mental health, I am immersed in learning about mental health throughout all phases of the motherhood journey. Additionally, I am constantly questioning and seeking answers about why therapy helps, what makes it work, and the ways that I can monitor success with my clients. Interacting with other clinicians in consultation groups is one way that I keep my skills fresh and accountable.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
My core values as I define them are compassion, growth, and open-mindedness. These were informed by my Jewish culture growing up and serve me well as a therapist. I often bring exercises in self-compassion into client work. I am also well-practiced in empathy, allowing me to stay nonjudgmental and open to everything that my clients have to say.
“I am also specially trained to help women through pregnancy and postpartum, a time that often brings on unexpected emotional challenges.”