“I help clients identify and work through self-limiting beliefs — mental and energetic blockages — and to better cope with whatever life throws their way.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
For as long as I can remember, I have had an innate curiosity about people, the human condition, and spirituality. Likewise, I’ve always been drawn to movement as a tool for emotional release and mood enhancement. While working in PR, I became immersed in the study of yoga and meditation. As I witnessed the transformative effect the practice had on my life, it became clear to me that my purpose was to help facilitate healing through the integration of mind, body, and energy. I went on to pursue a graduate degree in Psychology, deepened my study of yoga and meditation, and explored alternative modalities for healing like Reiki. I’ve applied my holistic approach to the mindfulness-based programs I developed for NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine. I help clients identify and work through self-limiting beliefs — mental and energetic blockages — and to better cope with whatever life throws their way.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I aim to create a supportive atmosphere where you are free to explore the depths of your mind, as well as a safe space to practice inhabiting your physical body in the present moment and to experiment with new ways of thinking, being, and relating. Together we will identify where you feel blocked physically, mentally, or energetically, and we will collaborate to set your intentions for therapy. Talking about problems, even to a skilled listener, is often insufficient in facilitating change because transformation requires both insight and experience. Thus, a typical session with me will integrate talk therapy with breathwork, guided meditation, body awareness, and even some movement.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
Therapy is an opportunity for psychological healing and personal growth. The therapeutic relationship is designed to help you become aware of the embedded beliefs, hopes, and fears that motivate your behavior and form the lens through which you perceive the world. We all have blind spots when it comes to our perceptions, reactions, and interpersonal dynamics. This is often the root of stress, anxiety, and sadness. While extremely beneficial during difficult times and crises, therapy is a tool for wellbeing and actualizing your fullest potential. Think of therapy as “mental hygiene.” Like dental hygiene, you don’t brush your teeth only when you have a cavity. Therapy can help you more skillfully manage the ups and downs of daily life.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
The growing emphasis on wellbeing and a holistic approach to health is something that really excites me as a mental health practitioner. The mind and body are inextricably connected, but for too long they have been treated as distinct entities. Epigenetic research shows that lifestyle factors such as stress can impact the physical manifestation of our DNA. Thus our physical wellbeing is incumbent on our mental wellbeing. The integration of complementary healing modalities for stress reduction and disease prevention, as well as for self-actualization, guides my approach as a therapist.
What are some tools from yoga that you draw upon in your work as a psychotherapist?
One of the most simple but powerful tools for calming the mind and shifting energy is yogic breathing known as pranayama. Research suggests that consciously controlling the breath may help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. What I love most about pranayama as an intervention is that it can be practiced anywhere, at any time, that it’s free, and that it is usually very safe. Yoga nidra, a guided meditation that allows the body to relax while the mind stays alert, is another transformative technique. Yoga nidra works by gently guiding you through four main stages of brain wave activity. In the end, the goal is to achieve a state between wakefulness and sleep. It is believed that in this state, negative thought patterns can be released and new neural pathways can be formed.
“The mind and body are inextricably connected, but for too long they have been treated as distinct entities.”
Interested in speaking with Katherine?