While I didn’t have the form down yet, I knew from a young age the essence of my purpose. I knew I wanted to help people in some way. It was not until I tested out several forms of “helping” in adulthood that I gained clarity on my purpose and it’s current form, “to raise the consciousness of the planet by providing coaching and therapy to individuals”
I knew I wanted to become a therapist after working as a preschool teacher for a couple years, finding myself drawn to help the children who needed extra attention to succeed in the classroom. I got my masters in Social Work from NYU. After the invaluable experience of working as a social worker in the in-patient psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital, I was clear I needed to provide interventions at the youngest age possible if I wanted to help the severely traumatized and abused adopt healthier habits earlier. It was then I pivoted to provide therapy to children, and more specifically, to treat the relationship between children and their caregivers. After several years of working at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Early Childhood Center in the Bronx, and years studying attachment theory and it’s therapeutic application in the form of Child-Parent Psychotherapy, I got my LCSW license which allowed me to open a private practice. Part of what drew me to become a therapist initially was the structure of having my own practice one day. Knowing I wanted a family of my own and wanting to be present with my children after school and in evenings factored into how I designed my career. In my private clinical practice I saw some couples and children, but predominantly individual adults looking to heal anxiety and depression. I often drew on the Mindfulness practices I had studied throughout the years to help people cope with their busy, stressful, NYC lives.
I first discovered Mindfulness techniques at age seventeen in the Buddhist Philosophy of detachment. This was an eye opening and validating experience, coming from the elite upper east side of Manhattan, where it seemed money and power (and the attachment to them!) were valued above all else. I had always been a truth seeker and my experiences meditating informed me it was a direct path to uncovering truths about myself and connected me to a much larger existence outside of the Upper East Side. I began attending meditation retreats, meditating on my own and studying chanting, breathwork, visualization and body awareness techniques. I was blessed with several wise teachers of various traditions including Tibetan Buddhism, Kabbalah, Christian monastic traditions, Yoga and Transcendental Meditation (TM). These teachings all helped form and guide me to where I am now as a student and a teacher.
Around the time I created my private practice, I felt pained by a lack of female community in my life and was seeking deep, supportive connection with powerful women. Sitting next to me at a chanting session at The Art of Living, I met the founder of She Creates Change – a women’s empowerment organization that supports women in successful careers who are unfulfilled, discover their purpose and transition to live the life of their dreams. The majority of these women end up creating their own companies. The founder trained me to become one of her coaches. At this time I also began coaching in my private practice and felt more deeply in alignment with my own purpose. I had begun to feel limited in my therapy work by not having a coaching model with which to engage certain clients. Some clients began asking me for advice around career growth or transition, and I wanted to meet them where they needed help. I have had various coaching clients who felt therapy helped them identify and cope with their trauma, negative patterns, anxious and depressive tendencies etc. but did not feel their therapists were interested in or qualified to help with career advancement, career change or a switch from employee to entrepreneurship. I have heard many clients say their therapists made them feel held and nurtured and supported through journeys of self discovery and growth (invaluable work!), but are now ready to be challenged, pushed to find their edge in work and personal life and want to be held accountable to making significant life changes in short periods of time.
Perhaps you have been through therapy, have learned a lot about yourself, your family dynamics, your emotional blocks and are now looking to get “unstuck” and take action. In my coaching work I have my clients set clear goals that are exciting to them, but reasonable to attain in a given period of time and whose outcomes are measurable. I have high expectations for my clients, pushing them to become a better version of them self. While clients often approach me with concerns around leaving a job, making a career change, or wanting to find work that lights them up, the work inevitably touches on all aspects of life including relationships, health, diet, exercise, spirituality (defined in so many ways and does not exclude atheists or agnostics), community, romance, creativity, fun. This is because I have a deeply held belief that fulfillment does not come from career alone (despite what NYC work values may espouse). I have seen too many successful individuals at the top of their career suffering for neglect of another area. In fact, if we put all of our energy on career success alone, it is a clear recipe for unhappiness. Happiness is about balance. No two cases will look the same, but balance is created by identifying the areas that are being neglected, and giving them more mindful attention. Designing and creating the balance that works for each individual is at the center of my coaching work.
Sometimes my work looks like holistic career coaching (when career requires more focus), sometimes holistic life coaching (when the other areas require attention) and other times its therapeutic coaching. In this last case, I utilize therapeutic techniques drawn from CBT and Mindfulness to teach clients how to cope with anxiety, depression, negative thinking, low self-esteem, shame, ADHD symptoms, etc., within the goal oriented, balance prioritizing, coaching format. My background as a therapist has proven quite useful in supporting my clients to overcome mental blocks to achieving their goals. If you want help to see significant, exciting changes happen in your life right now reach out and set up a free consultation. I would love to hear from you.