I am very passionate about counseling. I love to see people go from a dark place, to feeling better and living life again to the fullest. Counseling is a calling for me, both professionally and personally.
I knew I wanted to go into psychology since I was very young. I loved all of my undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies in counseling and community psychology. Grief and loss work is special and sacred to me. I continue to enjoy trainings and keeping up with what is going on in the world of professional counseling. But, it goes beyond that. You see, I went through my own struggle with deep depression and anxiety. I was barely making it through days. I forced myself out of bed and put a mask on. I was exhausted and tearful. I felt heavy and weighed down. My thoughts were upsetting. I isolated from people and it was difficult to attend gatherings. It affected my relationships and I lost friends. I stopped doing my hobbies. I felt little joy. Often, I was nervous, irritable and full of guilt. Other days, I was numb. It felt awful. However, through much healing and my own therapy, I came through to the other side. I believe you can, too. I still have a rough day now and again, but I now know how to manage, cope and problem solve. I am no longer poisoned with overwhelming depression and anxiety.
My Work With You
Your counseling will be matched to you, individually. Together, we will find your strengths and empowerment, as well as practices, techniques and skills in hopes of greater contentment, peace and life-long change. I will guide you through your struggles and grief, assist you with lessening your symptoms and help you in managing your stressors. You may learn how to break unhealthy patterns, destructive thoughts and become “unstuck”. You are the focus in a non-judgmental, warm, safe, supportive environment.
I believe in a person centered, trauma-informed, holistic approach. What does this mean? Person Centered: first, I see you as a person, not as a disease and not as a number. Your counseling is all about you and your needs. Your plan and goals are centered around you. No cookie-cutter business, here! Trauma-Informed: developing trust, safety, support and connection with you are my core counseling values. I will not force you to talk about something you are not ready to talk about. We will be mindful of your triggers and what upsets you. We will work on coping and relaxation skills. Holistic Approach: this means seeing you as a whole person, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We work on self-care and self-love. Together, we will head towards you having greater insight and awareness of your present emotions, feelings and thoughts. In turn, you may learn how to manage difficult emotions that arise and to tolerate and work through distress, for increased calmness and quality of life. In addition, I take your unique world into account. For example, we may look at your family, partner, friends, support systems, vocation, schooling, gender identity, sexuality, culture and your values. By living in NYC for over 13 years, I have met people from all over the globe with very different views. I am not here to judge, rather to support you in the context of your life.
A Word About Pet Loss
As I mentioned above, grief and loss counseling is one of my specialties. In addition, I provide pet bereavement services. I think that pet loss is overlooked too often. I know how devastating it can be to have a pet die. They are part of our family. They love unconditionally. They comfort us. In some cases they are our eyes, ears and limbs. They can be our work partner. Believe it or not, the death of a pet can be more upsetting than the death of an acquaintance or family member, based on connection. This is nothing to minimize or stigmatize. Please take a look at the pet bereavement page on my website for more information.
Professional Bits and Pieces
If you would like to know more about me professionally such as my schooling, theoretical approaches, work history and so forth, I am on LinkedIn and I have a profile on Psychology Today. I obtained my Master’s degree in Counseling and Community Psychology from Russell Sage Graduate School in Albany, NY with a concentration in grief and loss. This program takes a holistic approach. In addition, I participated in a MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) group for 12 weeks, received training in Mindfulness and still practice Mindfulness daily. I am also a proud member of the American Counseling Association and The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement.