“After working in finance for 15 years and witnessing the effects of substance abuse firsthand, I became a therapist to help high-functioning individuals achieve their goals.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
After working in finance for 15 years, I became disillusioned with the industry. It was devoid of meaningful human interaction. I wanted something that emphasized the importance of interpersonal relationships and the power of good communication and social skills. I began to realize that I was using these skills in my personal life when helping kids and working with peers struggling with substance abuse. I left my job on Wall Street, went back to school, and am now able to work with others to achieve their goals and work through challenges in productive ways.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I primarily use relational therapy when working with clients. In other words, it’s all about the connection between the therapist and the client. A therapist can learn as many therapeutic theories and modalities as they like, but without a strong therapeutic alliance, therapy can't be effective. My hope is that when a client leaves a session, one of the first things they think about is that they want to come back because they felt a strong connection. Rather than focusing on the how or the what, I prefer to inspire my clients by showing them why I entered this profession. This can only become evident when a practitioner truly believes in what they are saying and doing to help the client.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
I often partner with psychiatrists because it's important to have an open relationship and conversation about medication. Too often, clients will see a psychiatrist and receive medication before first collaborating with a psychotherapist. I believe it's a team effort — each professional brings unique knowledge to the relationship, and both has the client's best interest and health in mind.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
I believe that many people think therapy isn't right for them because it tends to focus on things that took place in the past. In reality, therapy often focuses on the present moment, helping you to achieve your current goals and equipping you with skills for your future.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
Brain imaging has evolved tremendously over the last few years. I am very interested in the study of the brain and how our brains react to external stimulation involving pleasure — why do some people react to external stimuli with restraint, while pleasurable stimuli can lead to dependence in others?
“Rather than focusing on the how or the what, I prefer to inspire my clients by showing them why I entered this profession.”