I am a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in private practice. Before opening my private practice, I trained at Yale University for three years and served on staff for one year in the mental health division of Yale’s Department of University Health. Outside of my practice, I have offered trainings on couples therapy to mental health professionals and workshops on parenting and relationship issues to a broader community.
Prior to pursuing a career in clinical psychology, I studied comparative literature as an undergraduate at Yale University. Even then, my primary interest was in discerning motivations and analyzing characters. I work with a broad range of problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship and identity/life transition issues. While my style is interactive, collaborative and at times intuitive, I primarily rely on strategies and interventions with proven effectiveness.
My goal is to help individuals (children, adolescents and adults,) families and couples in distress identify the source of their difficulty, develop clear objectives for therapy, and work to promote positive change. My practice welcomes LGBTQ individuals and couples as well as clients from diverse backgrounds and I am sensitive to cultural differences and Western biases. My primary office in White Plains is conveniently located for residents from Southern Westchester and the Bronx, while my Bedford office serves Northern Westchester, as well as parts of Fairfield County including New Canaan, Ridgefield, Greenwich and Stamford.
In addition to my foundational training during my graduate school years, I have always valued ongoing learning. In the past 20 years I have pursued additional training in mindfulness and the application of neuroscience to psychotherapy, emerging approaches to the treatment of trauma, cognitive-behavioral approaches to insomnia and phobias, among others.
When asked about my style in therapy, I explain to prospective clients that I am collaborative and integrative in the use of many therapeutic approaches. I view therapy as a shared journey in which I bring my compassion, professional knowledge and understanding along to assist you as you seek any or more of the following: symptom or distress relief, workable solutions to ongoing challenges, personal growth, insight into your motives and conflicts, or perhaps transformational change. The critical thinking and interventions I offer derive from six broad streams within the field of mental health and psychology: psychodynamic or insight-based, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, somatic, and systems concepts. Many of these schools of thought have incorporated evidence from neuroscience about how to facilitate positive change in challenging difficult emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Briefly, these six streams consist of the following:
Psychodynamic Therapy: Often portrayed in movies and tv, this approach to therapy often looks to understand current difficulties with self-esteem, with thoughts, emotions, behaviors or ways of relating, with a focus on childhood experiences and formative relationships with caregivers. Many therapists like myself are more focused on how these patterns play out today in current situations and, when so desired, can be gently encouraged to shift. Attachment theory is one aspect of psychodynamic theory I reference often with clients. Briefly, attachment theory concerns itself with the quality of emotional security and attunement people experienced in their earliest relationship with parents and/or other key caregivers. Understanding your attachment style and its basis in your past is often the first step to changing difficult patterns around the more difficult emotions such as fear and anger and around key figures in your life.
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT): This approach focuses on directly addressing ways of thinking and behaving that are not interfering with a client’s goals and quality of life. It offers alternative ways of responding to challenging impulses or external triggers often with the use of homework aimed at turning new skills into habits. It is very present-focused.
Internal Family Systems (IFS): This is another evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach. The model maintains that we are all made up of sub-personalities or “parts” that sometimes work to our advantage and protect us from unbearable emotions, thoughts and memories, but other times over-function in a way that is not to our advantage. The goal of IFS is to help clients is to heal by developing a greater balance and harmony between these protective parts and burdened parts through a growing relationship with our own compassion, curiosity and sense of perspective about our inner experience.
Somatic Experiencing (SE): A growing number of therapies understand that fundamental change sometimes occurs in a more experiential, non-verbal manner. We now have a growing understanding of the way our bodies and not just our minds process and store difficult or overwhelming experiences. Working to increase awareness of stuck or habitual ways of responding can free some of these areas of difficulty or rigidity or can bring more stability to someone who often experiences states of overwhelm and chaos or, conversely, states of dissociation and freeze.
Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation: Over the past twenty years or so, western medicine has increasingly studied and integrated this ancient Buddhist philosophy. Mindfulness consists of deepening one’s capacity to be aware of the present moment with an accepting, non-judgmental attitude. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of this practice for a range of issues such as stress management or pain management to distress tolerance and attention deficits.
Systems Theory: This framework is most useful for working with issues involving couples and families, but is relevant to individual clients as well. All individuals live within an environment of people, be they partners, family member, friends or coworkers, who influence and are in turn influenced by their functioning. As clients develop healthier feelings about themselves, behaviors or nurturing relationships and ways of engaging in their lives, they may encounter pushback from family and others in their life. This is where finding supportive communities and other resources becomes an important addition to the psychotherapy.
When we first meet, I learn about your strengths as well as your challenges. Together we develop a course of action for the therapy. With both my individual and couples cases, we periodically review the progress you are making and, when indicated, we reassess your goals for distinguishing what you can accept about your situation, yourself or your relationships from where you can create lasting change. Together, we determine when the time is right to end our work together, all the while leaving the door open to return should you so choose.
Level 2 Certificate in Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Level 1 Certificate in Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Core Skills in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT)
Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)2
Certificate in Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Certificate in Couples Psychotherapy from the Westchester
Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Certificate as a Gottman Educator for the Bringing Baby Home program
Certificate in Gottman Method Couples Therapist
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University
Psy.D. Yeshiva University
B.A. Yale University
New York State: Clinical Psychologist
American Psychological Association
American Red Cross, Mental Health Disaster Relief, Volunteer
The Center for Self Leadership
The Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
The Gottman Institute
Hudson Valley Birth Network
New York State Psychological Association
Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute
Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Westchester Psychological Association