“I volunteered in the Peace Corps after college where I taught English and worked with health professionals in Central Asia.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Prior to pursuing my doctorate, I had an interest in helping others and learning more about different people and ways of life. I volunteered in the Peace Corps after college where I taught English and worked with health professionals in Central Asia. Following that experience, I lived in Japan to further explore an interest in teaching English as a second language. It was during that time that I learned I greatly enjoyed getting to know my students individually and learning more about their interests and how to help them achieve their goals. That is what led me to pursue my doctorate in psychology and a master's in school psychology. Throughout my training, I worked with children and adolescents in clinical and school settings. I also trained in hospital outpatient clinics, working with adults. I decided to go into private practice to dedicate more time to my clients while having the time to raise my two young children.
What should someone know about working with you?
I work collaboratively with the client from the beginning. When we first meet, we will talk about what brings you to therapy and what your goals are. As we continue, we'll explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors more deeply together. I also would like to learn more about your background and childhood history to help us understand why some of these struggles are taking place. As we develop more insight, we can talk more about what can help you make sustainable changes.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Continuing to refresh my knowledge in the field is very important and it helps me understand more about myself as a therapist and home in on how I work best with clients. I have had some training in CBT, but I found my training in psychodynamic and relational techniques to be very valuable. I recently completed a training program in working with children, adolescents, and parents at the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. I also continue to receive private consultation and my own therapy to help me be more present and attuned to my clients' needs. I am pursuing an interest in helping clients with trauma since we all come to therapy with some trauma history.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
A reoccurring lesson I learned from my past experiences and working as a therapist is that it's important to meet a person where they are and work with them on their goals. That is something that I found useful in my work abroad as someone from a different culture who was working with people with various experiences that were different from my own. Understanding how it feels to struggle with communicating in a new language and feeling different and out of place at times helps me empathize with similar experiences. It also taught me that there are experiences I don't have and encouraged me to be open to learning more about what a person is going through.
“I decided to go into private practice to dedicate more time to my clients while having the time to raise my two young children.”