I grew up in a family of classical musicians, the youngest of four kids.
I attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, with the goal of winning a principal oboe position with a symphony orchestra. Shortly before my college graduation, my mother passed away suddenly. A year later, while pursuing my graduate degree at MSM, I lost a dear loved one to suicide, and my father died a short time later. I had struggled for many years with episodes of depression and feeling isolated, and I carried a sense of deep shame. Just before the death of my mom, I began seeing a therapist for the first time. Over a period of 10 years, I tried working with several therapists with varied expertise (psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, eclectic), but they never seemed to help. I wasn’t happier. Life wasn’t easier. I felt disconnected, lost, lonely, and filled with shame. Until I discovered the Gestalt method.
Alongside my love of music, helping others and being of service had been lifelong interests, so I pursued a second master's degree in social work from Columbia University. Yet it wasn’t until I completed graduate school that I was introduced to the Gestalt method by my first clinical supervisor, who used the approach to guide the way she lived her life and our work together. That’s when I consider Gestalt Psychotherapy to have found me. I went on to complete the clinical fellowship program and certification at Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy in New York.
Gestalt therapy training is arduous, in-depth, and rigorous. As part of the certification training, students are required to attend weekly individual and group therapy with a Gestalt therapist throughout their course of study. Through the work, I gained an enormous appreciation for the experiential, present-centered, and relational techniques that are integral to the process. The participatory training created a space for me to be completely known by others, and to know myself. I developed relationships in which it felt safe to be seen, heard, validated, and challenged. In learning to experience feelings as feelings and not as facts, I was able to heal wounds suffered long ago, so that they became part of my story, rather than the definition of who I am. This is the self-awareness and healing I bring to others through my practice.
- License Nos.: LW 60689701, C013559, 093993, 108625
Licensure States: WA, NC, NY, TX
Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy, New York, NY, 2012
- MSW, Columbia University School of Social Work,
New York, NY, 2002
- MM, Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY, 1998
- BM, Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY, 1996
My Experience and Education
I received my degree in clinical social work from Columbia University, with a concentration in health, mental health and disabilities. I completed my residency at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and I've been a practicing therapist since 2002.
Prior to establishing my private practice, I worked in a vast array of settings, including inpatient psychiatric units, outpatient community mental health clinics, day-treatment programs, inpatient medicine, ambulatory hemodialysis, and as a clinician for a health insurance company. I've served active-duty military and veterans in the treatment of substance dependence and PTSD, and supervised a methadone clinic in Harlem in New York City. My volunteer work included serving as a mentor in a teenage pregnancy and parenting program, and as a domestic violence advocate, working with vulnerable and at-risk populations of women. I'm licensed to practice therapy in New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington State.