“Work struggles, social competence, and relationship issues are specialties of mine, as well as treating people who are recovering from lives that involved addicted or mentally ill parents.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a graduate of Columbia University's School of Social Work, I have been in the field for over 20 years. In addition to my private practice, I have worked for a union, directed a psychiatric day treatment program, worked with disabled children and their parents in early intervention, and worked with people with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric illnesses. I came to this field early in life after volunteering as a high school student at a local state psychiatric hospital where I spent Saturdays on the outskirts of Philly “hanging out” with residents in a huge, dreary institution. I learned a lot about schizophrenia, but, most meaningfully, I learned how strongly people want to connect with other humans. I’ve never forgotten that lesson; it informs my work today.
What should someone know about working with you?
I believe in searching for the resilience in each person. Work struggles, social competence, and relationship issues are specialties of mine, as well as treating people who are recovering from lives that involved addicted or mentally ill parents. I am familiar with the 12-step philosophy and intersubjective theory also deeply informs my practice. I consider each person’s therapy to be different and I base my approach on each person’s needs. I firmly believe we cannot separate our emotional stumbling blocks from the events taking place around us and my work is rooted in an intersectional and anti-oppression framework and worldview. I also bring my love of animals and my commitment to the LGBTQIA++ community to my practice. I frequently incorporate meditation into my sessions, as well as art, creative writing, and gestalt dreamwork. When we meet face-to-face, my dogs will be available during sessions.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I love to attend seminars on therapy modalities that I know little about. My favorites currently are on the topics of internal family systems and polyvagal theory. I have also been attending anti-racist study groups.
Why do I use my dogs in my therapy practice? How do they participate and help?
Therapy dogs are trained to encourage an environment of trust and reassurance. Animal- assisted therapy is known to boost self-esteem and provide a sense of wellbeing. Some people feel better able to talk about trauma when being supported by a dog or cat. People also find it easier to explore tough issues.
“I frequently incorporate meditation into my sessions, as well as art, creative writing, and gestalt dreamwork.”