It is a privilege for me to be an individual therapist. Being the person that others let into their inner-worlds is one of the most precious gifts in my life. I think of a quote from Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams, who played a therapist in the movie, said "she knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but they're not, aw, that's the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let in to our weird little worlds". It fills me with joy to be allowed into my client's world. It is an honor that I hold with tremendous respect and appreciation. I have learned how exploring vulnerable parts of myself can lead to tremendous growth, and I hope to help you experience this growth in your life as well.
When I meet couples who have been happily married for 50-60 years I always ask them "what's the secret?". It is amazing how often the answer points to communication. I know personally the importance of communication in my own relationships. It is rare that one person truly listens to another person. Rachel Naomi Remen said "the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. . . a loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words". Learning to communicate effectively can improve the most important relationships in your life. This is something we can explore together in therapy.
YOUNG ADULT THERAPY
Since 2013, I have worked in part at a University Counseling Center on Long Island. My clients in this setting are usually between the ages of 18 years old and 25 years old. In my time, I have learned that this time in our lives can be filled with tremendous anxiety, sadness and suffering. I have also learned that there is a tremendous potential for confidence, resilience and growth if we know how to tap into them. I am proud to say that I have helped many young adults process difficult emotions and connect with their potential for growth and self-confidence.
I know stress. Who doesn't know stress? Stress is like traffic in Manhattan/Long Island, it's always there. How many times has your doctor told you to reduce stress in your life? "Well, thanks doc, but how?". I believe that in order to reduce stress, we must first understand what stress is. Through my training at the University of Massachusetts in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic, I have become familiar with the neuroscience of stress and effective ways to reduce stress. I have also trained extensively in the art of teaching others to reduce stress.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder. That is approximately 18% of our population. This means, that in every group of 5 people, 1 of them has an anxiety disorder. When we do not understand the causes of our own anxiety, it can hijack our experience and cause us to struggle personally, socially or professionally. My therapeutic approach includes tracing back the source of our anxiety. This helps us better understand anxiety as a part of our experience, as opposed to the entirety of our experience. Once we see this, we can take back control of our lives.
Imagine seeing the world through red glasses, everything we see would have a red tint. When we are depressed, everything that we see can be tinted with this depression. I believe a helpful approach is to trace back the source of the depression. In other words, looking at the question "what is causing my depression?". However, it is also important at times not to analyze the depression. It is also important to understand that sometimes we will be sad, and this is part of the human experience. With this approach, we can create space for our sadness to be processed. I often say that when we allow ourselves to be sad, the emotion moves "through us and out of us".
In my time spent at Bridge Back to Life, Substance Abuse Clinic I worked with individuals in all stages of recovery. What I learned is that underneath the maladaptive behavior of substance abuse, there is usually pain. Moreover, if we can address and heal from this pain, it is helpful in changing the maladaptive coping of substance use. So, in order to heal, it is helpful to become familiar with the pain. This, like peroxide on a cut, may sting first before it feels better. However, the other option is leaving the cut untreated.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER/ASPERGER'S
I had the privilege of working for 2 years at the Bridges to Adelphi Program at Adelphi University. This program helps young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) succeed in the transition from high school to college. In this time, I came to understand the implications of the diagnosis of ASD. The difficulties can include social and emotional struggle, as well as problems with executive functioning skills. My therapeutic approach can help address one or all of these areas.
I am a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher recognized by the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society and the Oasis Institute. I have been teaching mindfulness based practices since 2015. As part of my training to become a qualified teacher, I participated in four meditation retreats, engaging in intense meditation practice for 8-10 hours a day, for 7-10 days at a time. I spent two such retreats practicing mindfulness in complete silence.
"We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity" - George Takei. I am a proud ally of the rainbow alliance. I have had the privilege of working with LGBTQIA+ individuals in therapy. Together, we can process the emotional and social difficulties related to identifying as a LGBTQIA+ person. Also we can process what it would be like to be fully yourself and to be proud of it.