Change the way you think, and you can change the way you live.
I earned a Master of Arts degree in Applied Psychology: Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Throughout my graduate studies at NYU, I interned at the New York City United Federation of Teachers, where I provided mental health counseling to Department of Education members and co-facilitated a grief and bereavement counseling group. I have also completed elective graduate coursework in the areas of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), grief and bereavement counseling, personality theory, marriage, relationship, and family counseling, and the psychology of women.
After receiving my graduate degree from NYU, I chose to continue my education by enrolling in clinical practicum trainings at the Albert Ellis Institute where I earned my Primary Certificate in Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as my Advanced Certificate in Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Additionally, I am actively working towards obtaining my Associate Fellowship Certificate from the Albert Ellis Institute, with the ultimate goal of earning Associate Fellowship membership within the Institute. The Albert Ellis Institute is an internationally recognized and respected psychotherapy and training institute established in 1959 by Dr. Albert Ellis, the founder of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), which is the original form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
In the diverse field of mental health counseling, many counselors utilize an eclectic approach that is based on integrating various components of multiple psychotherapy modalities into their own personally tailored model. While these integrated approaches can help clients to feel better within the moment, I believe that combining dissimilar theories into one integrated model does not generally help clients to get better and stay better.
My approach to counseling is simpler, solution-focused, evidence-based, and highly effective in alleviating psychological, emotional, and relational distress. Through rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), I assist my clients with developing and achieving realistic goals and effective coping strategies. I help them to learn that in our most challenging moments, when we are unable to change our external circumstances, we can find power in choosing to change ourselves by adapting to our situation and therefore transforming our perspective.
In my view as a counselor, by predominantly utilizing and focusing on one approach, I am able to provide accurate, detailed, and unwavering clinical guidance and support that remains consistent for the duration of counseling, as the strategies and techniques that you will learn and practice will never contradict one another; rather, they will build the foundation to help you become your own best source of support in the long term!
Even in our most challenging moments, when it seems like we have lost control of our lives, REBT counseling proposes that the one aspect we always have control over is the attitude we adopt about ourselves and our circumstances. At its core, REBT is more than a type of therapy; it is a philosophy for life, and I feel most encouraged in this field when I see that my clients are not only able to think more rationally, but that they can put these principles into effect, and therefore live more rationally. My clients’ personal growth and ability to overcome what once seemed impossible for them is what inspires me.
My personal approach to mental health counseling is strongly rooted in rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) which is the original form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, I incorporate components of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) into my work, as I believe it perfectly partners with the goals of REBT and CBT theory.
REBT proposes that there are three primary components of psychological functioning: thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and that every human being has the capacity for rational and irrational thinking.
Through REBT counseling, we gain insight into ourselves, as we learn that it is not simply the circumstances in our lives that result in our unhealthy emotions and behaviors, but our beliefs about these circumstances which cause an emotional and behavioral disturbance.
By challenging our rigidly held irrational beliefs and demands, REBT helps us to adopt a more rational perspective about ourselves, others, and the world, which results in greater psychological satisfaction, heightened emotional independence, and at its best, a profound metaphysical change, accompanied by inner tranquility and personal enlightenment.
MBCT counseling integrates cognitive therapy with mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, present-centered awareness, observation of small sensations in the here and now, and self-reflection and introspection without criticism and judgment of self and others.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) uniquely emphasizes the role that irrational beliefs play in our cognitive, emotive, and behavioral dysfunction. As a counselor, whenever I identify irrational beliefs, I look for thoughts that sound like 1. Demands, 2. Awfulizing or Catastrophizing, 3. Frustration Intolerance, 4. Self-Condemnation, and 5. Other-Condemnation. These five types of irrational beliefs can permeate our cognitive function independently, as well as exist comorbidly with one another. Irrational beliefs are rigid and absolutistic, which makes them inconsistent with reality. Irrational beliefs impede our ability to reach our goals, and ultimately, they generate unhealthy emotions and unhelpful behaviors. By contrast, rational beliefs are flexible, logical, and consistent with reality. Rational beliefs help us to achieve our goals, as well as to better cope with our defeats. Despite profound adversity, thinking rationally leads to healthy emotions and functional behaviors, as it helps us to accept what we cannot control, and to focus our energy on that which is within our power.
My primary purpose at Keys to Counseling is to give you the cognitive, emotive, and behavioral tools to learn to alleviate your own anxiety and ease psychological stress. Through rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), I will encourage you to live rationally and mindfully in the present, teach you how to self-sooth and relax, help you to slow down your thoughts in order to see the world more clearly, and ultimately show you how to become your own best counselor leading to a more satisfying, fulfilling, and emotionally independent life. The decision to improve your life through individual, couples, and marriage counseling is truly a courageous and exciting one. No matter your reason for seeking counseling, it would be an honor to support and empower you on this journey!