“We'll work together in a space where you feel comfortable to be who you are, helping you find ways to better understand, manage, or move forward from what challenges brought you here.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I have always felt an innate drive towards giving and helping others, leading me to pursue a career in social work with aspirations of becoming a therapist. I worked as a therapist and supervisor in outpatient mental health and substance abuse for several years, and my passion for this work only grew stronger. I became a therapist not long after 9/11, and focused my training and research on understanding trauma and how to best help survivors. This has been invaluable to my practice, given the prevalence of trauma and the serious impact it can have on individuals and their families.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I bring a down-to-earth, warm, and genuine approach to therapy. My style is open and supportive, focused on providing clients with a safe space to work through the discomfort, pain, or uncertainty that led them to seek help in the first place (a major step unto itself!). Therapy isn't one-size-fits-all; I pull from an eclectic toolkit of practices to meet each client's unique needs, honoring who they are as an individual and what their expectations may be. Through a relationship built on trust and safety, we'll work together in a space where you feel comfortable to be who you are, helping you find ways to better understand, manage, or move forward from what challenges brought you here. My hope is to make a difference in the life of every individual I work with.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
It's hard to wake up and say, "I think it would help for me to talk to someone about how I am feeling." That's the first step, and it's important to recognize that this is not easy. It takes strength and courage! Connecting with a therapist is also challenging. It can be daunting to call your insurance company or search through online profiles, all while uncertain if the therapist you decide to reach out to is going to be a good fit. When I hear about people reaching out to therapists and not receiving a call back, I'm disheartened. Individuals shouldn't feel discouraged or alone in times of need. Help is there. At Alma, we're helping to build a community that can break down these barriers and increase access to care.
What do you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it?
I think it is important to acknowledge the vulnerability in this process. We are asking individuals to open their hearts and share their stories and their pain with a stranger. I want people to know it’s okay to start with mixed feelings, and that it takes time to grow comfortable with this process. I also think it is important to acknowledge that therapy is not about giving or taking advice. It’s about taking back your power by learning more about yourself than you knew was possible and arming yourself with coping skills to dive into a future that is full of potential. It's about letting go and grieving whatever you are carrying that no longer serves you. It helps you own who you are and what you are worth. What I would want people to know is that it is worth it. You are worth it.
Is there any research-based work you’ve done that you found particularly exciting and how has that informed your practice today?
Through my research, I have been privileged to work with survivors of trauma who experienced harmful relationships in childhood, adulthood, or both. Exploring their stories, I learned about strength, resilience, and the determination to grow from pain. As humans, we are capable of managing and growing from more than we know. I bring this knowledge and an understanding of opportunities that carry the potential for healing while also recognizing pain. Everyone deserves to construct their own narrative, and this can be quite an empowering process. For me, to be any part of that process, is humbling. We are all capable of healing.
“Therapy is about taking back your power by learning more about yourself than you knew was possible and arming yourself with coping skills to dive into a future that is full of potential.”
Interested in speaking with Lisa?