“Each session will begin by asking what a client wants to accomplish, aligning with the overall treatment goals.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
After I received my master’s degree in art therapy from New York University, I began my clinical practice with immigrant youth and families. I may have taken this path because of my own immigration and acculturation. I expanded my expertise at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, working with adults receiving inpatient psychiatric services. After earning my Doctor of Education from Columbia University, I engaged in research with at-risk immigrant children and studied the role that visual arts play in identifying strengths through positive feelings and by fostering empowerment.
What should someone know about working with you?
In the first session, I will explore my client's mental health struggles and the causes of their emotional distress. I will ask questions about therapy, treatment history, personal relationships, and goals for treatment. Additionally, I will discuss topics such as payment, ethical concerns, communication methods, and required consent forms/paperwork. The first session will not take more than 90 minutes and provides me a chance to discuss the types of therapy I provide and my specific approach to treatment. Each session will begin by asking what a client wants to accomplish, aligning with the overall treatment goals. Collaborative goal-setting is used to strengthen the therapeutic alliance and it has a positive effect on personal recovery. My practice is flexible, with each client’s situation and needs taken into consideration. As a result, homework is given to the clients who can benefit from weekly assignments.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am very interested in promoting mental health equity; several cultural and structural barriers prevent people from accessing services. Often, lack of cultural competency among service providers leads to misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis of mental health problems and insufficient multilingual services in the health care system make it difficult for clients to access treatment.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My research covered the therapeutic benefits of creative arts therapy on immigrant children and their families. The role that visual arts plays in therapy was examined and demonstrated positive impacts by identifying positive feelings and fostering empowerment. I have published papers on this topic in academic journals and presented them at national and international conferences.
“My practice is flexible, with each client’s situation and needs taken into consideration.”