about me

Carmen, on right, with beloved mentor Kate Hays,
Toronto Marathon, 2019

what i believe and how i use it

My understanding of mental health is profoundly influenced by a childhood spent in an old-world country and its inherited spiritual framework of Orthodox Christianity. In the United States, I underwent graduate training at the oldest and most established Adlerian program in the country. What this means is that I consider the individual to be highly complex and layered, an entity comprised of multiple identities which inform mental homeostasis and robustness. From this vantage position, mental health is understood as the effortless, symbiotic functioning of all identities: spiritual, functional, existential, relational. In therapy with me, issues and their solutions are addressed holistically, in an environment characterized by unconditional acceptance. I am also trained in EMDR, a treatment modality which stimulates the brain’s inherent capacity toward health and reprogramming. EMDR is the most researched and most credible therapeutic modality employed in mental health because of its quick and long-lasting results.

An important focus of my work is what is called “lifestyle”. Often, daily habits impact our overall well-being to a greater degree than any past conflict or trauma; indeed, such habits may have started as a response to manage emotional conflict or trauma, but in the present, these ingrained habits may become oppressive dysfunctions that prevent us from living up to our highest potential. What I refer to in terms of lifestyle encompasses sleep, diet, exercise, appropriate use of technology, and close relationships. We will discuss these areas and make possible adjustments, if beneficial, where we can impact your well-being to the highest degree.

At this time, I do not work with individuals who utilize or are planning to utilize psychotropic medication to manage their psychological distress. I do, however, work with individuals who are interested in phasing out psychotropics for symptom management.

There are often many parts of your life that may be important in understanding you or where you are in your life, and we may discuss them. We will work together on your feelings and your behaviors that are of concern. How I work with you is partly dependent on what we work on and how you learn. In order for therapy to be effective, you must be an active participant and consider the work to continue in between sessions, where you will be expected to practice ideas discussed in-session, to engage in new behaviors, to further educate yourself by reading certain books, etc. The work we will be doing together is all intended to help you change, resolve problems or conflicts, or “just get better.” It is to help you become more “you” and less “that person” you’re no longer comfortable being.

Face your fears. Risk failure. Struggle. Persevere. Be free. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

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