In a nutshell:
The focus of my work has always been on helping people grow, achieve their potential, and live happy, healthy, balanced lives. I am a psychologist with over two decades of experience guiding individuals to implement solution-focused strategies to enhance mental wellbeing. Much of my career has been devoted to working with children and families, and I have added career services work to my practice in the last few years. I aim to provide practical, actionable advice based on years of study of human behavior and experience in counseling with a wide variety of clients.
If you want to know more:
My career path has not been linear and direct, but the common threads woven throughout my education and work history have been caring about children, families, healthy development, and personal growth.
I started college as an English major. I have always appreciated a good narrative story, and I enjoy helping people make sense of their own narrative stories in my therapeutic work with them. I didn’t last too long as an English major though. At LeMoyne College, a liberal arts, Jesuit institution, I enjoyed courses in both the sciences and the humanities. I chose Psychology as my major because I appreciated the blend of multiple disciplines and perspectives it offered.
When I applied to graduate school, I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to study how people developed over the course of their lives. I have always had a curiosity about how we become who we are. How do children learn about their world? How are healthy relationships formed in childhood and beyond? How do our home, school, and work environments shape us? How do adults change and remain the same as they move through the years of their lives?
But I didn’t want to just study people; I also wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I earned my doctoral degree at Fordham University in their Applied Developmental Psychology program, a place where I could study human development across the life span and apply it to real world situations.
A couple of key experiences during graduate school were influential in the direction of my career. One summer I worked at Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center where I learned that I could open my heart and connect with children with emotional problems. The following year I had a practicum experience at a primary health care center in the South Bronx that was part of the Montefiore hospital system. I worked with teams of medical professionals providing care to people of all ages. That experience led to a permanent job with a dynamic psychosocial services team, and I stayed there for ten years providing mental health services to pregnant women, children, and families. My work also involved conducting developmental assessments on young children and running parent education programs.
As much as I loved the energy of working in the Bronx, when I started my own family, I chose more flexible work with less of a commute. For many of the years when I was raising my three daughters, I worked as a home-based provider for Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education programs. My most rewarding and successful cases were those where I was able to work with the parents as well as the child. The knowledge I gained through my own experiences as a mom helped inform my work with parents. I know firsthand that parenting is hard work, that there is more than one way to raise a child, that each child is unique, and that there is no such thing as perfection when it comes to parenting
As my children grew, I started to think more about my own professional interests and wanted to expand the range of my work. I have especially enjoyed the college search process with my own children. I find the process of guiding them to explore their interests and find a good fit of college and career path with who they are to be very rewarding. The career and college exploration process within my family lead me to a new avenue in my work. I adapted my focus on positive growth and development to the transitions of late adolescence and early and midlife adulthood. I furthered my own education by taking graduate courses in Human Resources and the Career Development Facilitator course through the National Career Development Association. I truly enjoy the process helping people determine a career path that fits with their interests, skills, values, and commitments outside of work.