I am a therapist who is passionate about helping an individual’s, couple’s, or family’s suffering, which has gone unspoken, be heard, felt, and witnessed. I strive to deeply understand each person’s unique experiences, beliefs, and inner worlds. With a Master’s degree from Pratt Institute, I have observed how profound transformation can take place through developing a curious and compassionate relationship in therapy. In particular, I see compassion as an active responsibility for a therapist, one that requires me to take the time, space, and energy to thoroughly learn what is contributing to a person’s pain. I am dedicated to supporting people to discover where their suffering originates and find new ways of relating to themselves and others around them.
The depth of emotional pain can sometimes expose the limitations of language. As a licensed creative arts therapist and registered dance movement therapist, who has worked with adults, teens, and children, I understand how a movement, song, painting, photograph, or even, a simple gesture can all be employed to communicate significant struggles. I use dance movement and creative arts therapies as tools so that individuals, couples, and families can articulate feelings and thoughts in a manner words may not allow, eventually giving voice to new realizations. Whether moving with a patient while asking questions about what that movement represents, encouraging art-making, or talking, this diversity of approaches offers possibilities for patients such as increasing self-awareness, perceiving how feelings and memories can impact both the mind and the body, and investigating these emotional experiences in order to grow.
Alongside creativity, I believe play has an integral role in therapy by fostering the vulnerability, courage, and ease necessary to try something new. Play is also key to forging an essential trusting connection. This is particularly relevant to my therapy with children and teens. In my prior work with kids with special needs in an education setting and children and adolescents in a family advocacy program, I saw how making room for play gave kids and teens permission to open up and express themselves and their experiences. This knowledge continues to inform my therapeutic practice as I seek to motivate kids and teens to further explore comprehending themselves and their emotions.
The state of a couple’s or family’s relationship affects the quality of each partner or family member’s well-being. I am driven by how much I’m able to learn about each relationship dynamic by observing how a couple or family expresses their feelings, tenderness, and love toward each other in both verbal and nonverbal ways. I am also aware of how challenging it can be when a partner or family member is present in therapy but emotionally absent. In these circumstances, I take on an active role to navigate the conflict that is in the room at that moment. This requires balancing sometimes competing and contradicting emotions, statements, embodied expressions, and opinions about each person’s role in the unhelpful dynamic.
I am cognizant of how various systems, including many forms of injustice, can alter a person’s lived experience, relationships, and personal development. Previously working with LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and first-generation-identifying people, I encourage individuals, couples, and families to share how their culture and intersecting identities affect how they interact with the world and those around them. I am committed to remaining culturally competent while not assuming how a person’s identity relates to their specific struggles. I create an environment in which these conversations can be had openly, including sitting with the discomfort that may arise. I believe quite often that what’s through and on the other side of discomfort is the potential for meaningful change.