“Shame, without a doubt, is the biggest barrier to people seeking care. We can overcome that.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
New York is a highly competitive, stressful place to work. It’s easy to seek relief by using alcohol, drugs, overeating, gambling, toxic relationships, over working—the possibilities are endless! I learned this from first hand experience. Fortunately, I was able to find therapists and counselors to support and guide my recovery. I was inspired by their efforts and decided to follow in their path.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
Shame, without a doubt, is the biggest barrier to people seeking care. Even if we overcome the shame of substance abuse or addictive relationships, we may still suffer from shame over our appearance, our finances, and our education. Shame is a basic emotion that’s part of being human. Most people feel their sense of shame reduced by the end of their first session.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
I have never encountered a client who suffered from too much support. Collaboration with other providers is a cornerstone of my approach. I welcome the opportunity to work with psychiatrists and other professionals who are part of your recovery. If you are in a support group or 12-Step group, I encourage you to continue participating.
Do you work with clients coming out of rehab?
Yes, definitely. I work with many clients who are transitioning from inpatient rehab to an outpatient clinic. Other clients I see go directly from rehab back to daily life. I also run outpatient support groups for professionals who are in recovery.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
Choosing the right therapist can feel like an overwhelming task. I make myself available for 15-minute phone calls so you can ask whatever questions are on your mind to get a sense of my personality and qualifications. There is no charge for this and you should feel no obligation. In fact, I encourage you to talk to two or three therapists, as many as it takes, to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and inspires your confidence.
“I have never encountered a client who suffered from too much support. Collaboration with other providers is a cornerstone of my approach.”
Melanie practices at Alma