“I am a Level 2 TEAM-CBT clinician in cognitive behavioral therapy and I help you connect how thoughts affect the way you feel.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
In undergrad, I interned at advocacy centers for survivors’ rights and majored in women’s studies. It awakened a healthy outrage in me to speak out against injustice. Somewhere along the way, the intensity of my outrage became unhealthy. It took someone wise to tell me that meaningful change could come to fruition if I met people where they were emotionally. I am by no means an “expert” on the world, so I can always learn from others. I was missing out on meaningful lessons when I spoke rather than listened. Often when we’re in conflict, we speak so loudly because of a deep desire for our truths to be heard and that makes us miss out on this same desire from others. What kind of change do I want to intentionally create? Over time and experience, I realized how to channel my healthy outrage into effective communication in order to create brave spaces for my clients. In turn, my clients can channel their anxiety, depression, and trauma into activities that benefit their sense of justice.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process is done in two 50-minute sessions. I like to know what growing up for you was like, any prior counseling or mental health treatment you’ve had, your history in New York, and/or what brought you to the greatest city in the world.
Once we understand your goals, we can develop ways to handle the tough stuff. I am a Level 2 TEAM-CBT clinician in cognitive behavioral therapy and I help you connect how thoughts affect the way you feel. This involves homework between sessions! Therapy is most effective when done on a weekly basis in order to process what happens between sessions.
I enjoy working with women of color who are navigating workplace trauma and self-worth as well as clients who are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating. I currently work with adults 18-65 but if you are an underage client, I hope to work with you in the near future! Although I am not trained in treating addiction, I am happy to refer you to one of my colleagues.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Training on intersectional issues in the field of therapy is a regular part of my work. I’ve attended Teachers College, Columbia University’s Winter Roundtable to stay up-to-date on conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and mental health. I also attend the annual Renfrew Center Conference online, which enhances skills for treating eating disorders. In the future, I plan to expand my knowledge of evidence-based practices in REBT and ACT.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Most people believe that therapy is about giving advice but the problem with advice is that it’s values-driven. Values are based on life experiences and not everyone has the same ones. It’s not about my core values but instead about yours. Therapy is effective when we identify your values and find the right tools that work for you.
At the same time, I believe that the farther you keep running away from what scares you, the more frightening it becomes. If you wait for life to change, the less motivated you may feel to actively change it. If you work with me, I may ask you to confront what scares you or do something you may not be motivated to do at some point during treatment. I believe this is the best way to address anxiety and depression but if you’re not ready to do this, that’s okay too. I’m happy to offer a safe place to talk about what’s on your mind. Therapy is what you make of it and I am here to be your guide.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
While I was an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I was a research assistant for trauma-informed care and patient-centered care in the field of medicine and dentistry. A lot of the themes we found were consistent with one of the basic philosophies of counseling psychology and social work: Empathy. Quality healthcare means meeting you where you are in your journey. Treatment is holistic when I understand where you are coming from instead of simply give out advice. We all start somewhere but we’re not all starting from the same place.
“I enjoy working with women of color who are navigating workplace trauma and self-worth as well as clients who are struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating.”