My interest in helping others began at a very early age, having had several family members in the medical field who were passionate about their work. While in high school, I worked as a summer camp counselor and as a lifeguard, teaching swimming. Upon entering college, I had the wonderful opportunity to work at Camp Anchor, a Town of Hempstead, Long Island program for children and adults with special medical and psychological needs. My role was that of a lifeguard, coaching the swim team, and helping individuals build their self-confidence and self=esteem, learning to swim in and navigate the ocean. The individuals and friends I met there were wonderful people who were committed to bettering the lives of others. I believe that it was that experience which really paved the way for me to pursue the study of psychology while at Bucknell University as an undergraduate student. Although I received a BA in English (1994), I minored in Psychology and Education.
I decided to pursue an M.S.W. degree at Fordham University and began that course of study soon after going on a cross-country road trip with my best friend, who was moving to California. As a first year intern, I worked at a "Stay in School" program at elementary school in East Harlem, NY and my second year was spent as an inpatient unit intern on a palliative care unit at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in NYC. As a young professional and graduate of Fordham, my first few years were at "New Alternatives for Children, Inc." in a NYC based preventative services program serving children with special medical needs and their families.
Following that, I worked at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in several different roles over the course of 8 years. I was the social worker for the Peer Training Program, which was my first exposure to meeting individuals in the LGBTQ population. In addition, I worked on an outreach Health Van providing crisis intervention, counseling, and HIV/AIDS testing services to young adults ages 13-24. We travelled to several locations in the city and provided direct free medical and mental health care. Soon after 9/11/01, we worked the front lines in downtown NYC, providing care to residents. Also while at Ryan, I provided psychotherapy services for many years on an individual and group work basis.
At that time, I became interested in a more holistic approach to therapy, as I believe strongly in the mind-body connection. I have always been physically active, and decided to pursue a Personal Trainer Certification, and attended AAPT (American Academy for Personal Training). Upon graduation from that program, I worked at a gym and began to incorporate mind-body techniques in a private Manhattan-based psychotherapy practice. After about a year, I began working at CUCS (Center for Urban Community Services), as a supervisor in a residence for individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Five years ago, when I moved to Westchester, NY, I worked at St. Vincent's Hospital as a Partial Program mental health therapist running groups and seeing individuals for treatment. During that time, I opened my private practice in White Plains, and have been treating individuals, couples, and families there ever since. I highly value my patients and look forward to helping them gain insight into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I believe therapy is a journey that can be a very important gift you can give to yourself. I hope you will allow me to be a part of your process to make positive changes happen!