I am an experienced licensed clinical social worker. I take an integrative approach to therapy, emphasizing treating mind, body, and spirit.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Highland Park, NJ
PTSD is a normal reaction to abnormal events. The parts of you that respond by fighting, fleeing, freezing, fawning, submitting, and/or attaching are your heroes. They kept you safer by showing up during traumatizing moments. However, what was once adaptive becomes maladaptive once you are in a safer environment. These symptoms not only make sense, but they are also able to be helped through various techniques that can help you leave the heavy emotional charge of the past in the past.
The dissociative spectrum is broad and goes all the way from being "in the zone" to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dissociation is a natural phenomenon and we all do it to a degree. For some of us, this natural protection kicks in so much that it begins to disorder our lives. By combining trauma-informed theory with IFS techniques, I am able to help clients normalize the dissociation process and gently gain more control over their experience by healing their emotional parts.
I love integrating an individual's personal spirituality into session. I truly believe in treating mind, body, and spirit together. My clients utilize this opportunity in all different ways. From integrating their spiritual beliefs into IFS parts work, to creating meaning from past trauma, to deeply exploring the client's unique spiritual experiences in this lifetime and beyond, this aspect of therapy is individually tailored to the client's comfort level and needs.
I have spent most of my career - and some time before I became a therapist - focusing on the treatment of trauma. Pre-MSW, I volunteered for 5 years as a sexual assault advocate for my county providing emergency support for survivors. After I earned my license, I worked at the PHP/IOP level of care in an intensive women's trauma program for 6 years. I emphasize psychoeducation on the mind-body connection and how trauma is stored in the body. Symptoms are a normal reaction to abnormal events.
While at the program, I combined my love of Buddhist and yogic philosophies with concrete DBT core mindfulness skills to develop a mindfulness curriculum for groups. I continue to integrate mindfulness techniques in individual sessions, as a solid mindfulness practice has been proven to relieve trauma symptoms. I was also a DBT therapist for my 6 years in the program, though I honestly find other modalities to be more helpful. That being said, I am always happy to teach skills upon request!
I completed an intensive IFS training with Richard Schwartz, the founder of Internal Family Systems, in 2018 and am presently wrapping up a year-long training through the IFS Institute. I had weekly supervision with an IFS therapist who completed Level 3 training for over one year and have done my own IFS work as a client. I honestly cannot say enough positive things about IFS. My clients tell me that it is more helpful than anything they have tried before and I agree! All parts welcome!