“My overarching belief in the power of talking, understanding, and relating led me to pursue training in psychotherapies that emphasize depth, insight, exploration, and relationships.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I was drawn to this work by the sense that talking to another person about experiences has the potential to be healing and transformative. My overarching belief in the power of talking, understanding, and relating led me to pursue training in psychotherapies that emphasize depth, insight, exploration, and relationships. In a sense, I became a therapist because I was in search for a way of understanding human suffering and ways in which an encounter with another person can facilitate growth and change. I have found that so-called talk therapy has the potential to treat a wide variety of problems, including depression, anxiety, relationship patterns that perpetuate suffering, and chronic pain.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
The therapy I practice is exploratory, insight-oriented, and relationship-based. To that end, in our first session I will invite you to describe your sense of what has brought you seek therapy at this particular moment in your life. As part of that initial conversation, and in order to understand your current situation within in a broader context, we may also explore your experience of important relationships, past struggles, and your hopes and goals for treatment. However, no two therapy experiences are alike; thus, no two initial sessions play out in exactly the same manner. Typically, the first few sessions serve as consultations, during which we will determine whether it makes sense for us to work together on an ongoing basis.
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 think many people who have not seen a therapist before fear that they will be objectified when they walk into a therapist’s office: that they will be made to feel crazy, caricatured, shamed, talked down to, reduced to a diagnosis, etc. When I sit with a patient, I view my most basic and important task as listening to what they communicate with me and responding to what I have heard in ways that can deepen our understanding and knowledge of the experience. I think the most important questions to consider when looking for a therapist are: “What does it feel like to sit with this person? Do they seem open to me? Can I imagine the potential for a meaningful experience as we sit and talk?”
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
Despite ongoing pressures to conform to manualized, short-term models of therapy that devalue self-knowledge and the therapeutic relationship, there is a growing community of therapists who honor the more humanistic perspectives that have historically drawn people to seek help. In my post-graduate work, I have encountered a community of people who are committed — through their therapeutic work, teaching, and writing — to psychotherapies of depth that are profoundly healing and lead to lasting, character-based change.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
Awakening the Dreamer and Standing in the Spaces by Philip Bromberg, which both explore the notion that we all have multiple selves. This has important psychological implications, particularly with regard to trauma and its treatment.
“When I sit with a patient, I view my most basic and important task as listening to what they communicate with me and responding to what I have heard in ways that can deepen our understanding and knowledge of the experience.”