1: Why did you choose to become a therapist?
When I was young, I always knew that I liked helping people. In high school, I took a psychology class and everything just “clicked.” I knew that it fit with all the things I liked about being supportive to others and knew it was what I wanted to do.
2: What’s your favorite thing about being a therapist?
I love being part of people’s journeys. It’s hard to ask someone to join in your vulnerability and I am honored to be able to do that with my clients.
3: What is your general philosophy and approach to helping?
I’m very interactive and believe in safely using self-disclosing self-disclosure. There are so few relationships we have in our lives where we see someone every week and know nothing about them, so I do believe sharing a bit about myself is helpful. Although I use a lot of strategies, I believe in DBT and use it as my primary model, weaving in others as needed.
4: If you weren’t a therapist, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
I would have been a sportscaster. I have always loved sports and thought it would have been amazing to be on TV. I looked into it, and, at the time, I would have had to go back to school to get an other undergraduate degree in communications (this isn’t true anymore). So, I let that dream go. I like to imagine if I had done it, I would have been a top female tv personality. Who knows?
5: What do you do as self-care? (Mindfulness practices, exercise, etc)
Self care is SO important to me, as it helps me feel grounded and present, which is important for myself and my work. I like to exercise most days. I also make sure to spend time with friends (virtually at the moment) and my family and dogs. I make sure to take some screen breaks, because it’s just too much information too often, and I need to walk away. I also read…a lot.
6: What’s your favorite quote/mantra?
I have 2:
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It’s actually on a plate in my office. Therapy pushes you out of your comfort zone in many ways, so it’s apropos.
The second: Someone’s crisis is not my emergency. This is a pause button for me. It’s so easy to get consumed by someone’s anxiety, so when I remind myself of this, I can slow down and think more clearly. It allows me to be more helpful in the long run.
7: What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
This is always a tough question and one that I love. I think I would tell my 16 year old self to embrace her differences and embrace herself. I could be very self-doubting as a teen, despite having a lot to offer. I would encourage my younger self to “own it.”
8: If you could invite three famous people to dinner, alive or dead, who would they be?
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Ben Harper, and Buddha. Oh wait…that’s four!
9: What’s something you are most proud of?
I am most proud of many things but creating Hartstein Psychological may be the top of the list. I am so proud of how many people we can help and the treatment and support we provide. I believe we are leaders in the field and think my team is amazing.
10: What do you wish other people knew about mental health?
I wish everyone understood how important it is for ALL of us. It’s not an us vs them situation. It’s an everyone situation. We need to start to think about mental health in the same way that we think of physical health. The more we can normalize it, realize all of us could use some help with it and make it “no big deal,” the easier it will be for people to ask for help when they need it, which could have huge repercussions overall, like reducing suicide rates, decreasing addition rates….a woman can dream!