I am a Hunter College-trained therapist with an innate curiosity about how individuals, couples, and families make sense of themselves and respond to the world around them. From deconstructing media in my undergraduate studies at Brown University to building tools for self-expression in my prior career in tech to cultivating community with an artist collective, I have fostered an enduring passion for questioning why things are the way they are and collaborating with others to find creative approaches to change what isn’t working.
I take these skills with me as a therapist, understanding inquisitiveness and the relationship it builds with patients as antidotes to isolation, shame, and despair. A thoughtfully framed question, no matter how deceptively simple, can unlock buried feelings, shift perspectives, add complexity, and inspire new consideration of past and present events. The answer is often less important than the action of looking within and the potential to get close to the pain while moving towards the possibility of lasting change.
Previously working at the Ackerman Institute, as well as with older adults with histories of chronic street homelessness, I’ve observed that everyone shares similar needs for security and to be understood despite significant differences in foundational experiences. I believe in the importance of providing the opportunity for people to practice real vulnerability, especially in individual therapy. Vulnerability is not often encouraged by our culture, leaving little room for individuals to express ambivalence, uncertainty, suffering, and other difficult emotional experiences. In order for people to risk vulnerability, I take seriously my role in cultivating the necessary trust and safety required for people to speak without fear and be fully known for who they are.
With prior experience providing therapy for couples and families from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, I see helping people face life’s choices collaboratively as a creative effort. Couples, in particular, can forget they once chose what is different about their partner. In times of stress, these differences can seem threatening. This is especially true when partners hold opposing positions on topics where there is no “right” answer, such as questions of balancing closeness with independence or security with novelty and change. I encourage partners to find a dynamic balance in which both perspectives are fully seen and appreciated with curiosity, patience, and openness.
Families can be the source of both joy and anguish with a unique culture of values, expectations, and multigenerational dynamics. As a family therapist, I strive to become deeply acquainted with each family’s culture while retaining the ability to provide an outside perspective in order to facilitate conversations with which a family is struggling. I encourage each family member to listen to each other and themselves, surfacing needs and beliefs that are rarely voiced out loud. I support families to work through conflict and encourage each other even in the face of disagreements, which are skills that are not only useful for healthy families but can carry over into other relationships, workplaces, and communities.
As children grow up and negotiate their developing identities, they are frequently the harbingers of change for the whole family. By older adolescence, teens are typically astutely fluent in managing their family, even if this means pushing buttons to bring issues to the surface that must be dealt with. Parents also experience an enormous transition when their kids mature as they are tasked with evolving their parenting strategies while mourning the loss of uninterrupted closeness and dependence. Through individual therapy with teens and kids, as well as in the context of family therapy, I help kids and teens articulate their fresh perspectives on themselves and the world and determine ways they can enact change that can be both challenging and exciting.