One of the things that I love about my work as a psychologist is the wide variety of challenges that my training has prepared me to address and the wide variety of people with whom I get to work closely. This is what has made it easy for me to remain excited by my work and deeply satisfied professionally. My work is challenging and gratifying and never routine.
When I was an unhappy adolescent, I was taken to see a psychologist, an older man, senior in the profession. After an uncomfortable and awkward session, he asked me how I felt about coming to see him. I told him that I didn’t really want to be there. He responded with an understanding smile and said that, in that case, he didn’t want me to be there either. With relief, I shook his hand and said a polite goodbye. A little later, it slowly dawned on me that this unwanted but honest exchange with him felt like the first time someone had asked me what I wanted and respected my response. He listened to me. Six months later, I decided on my own to go back to see him again, one of the most important and beneficial decisions I have ever made, and one that led me ultimately to my own commitment to the profession.
From an early part of my career, I was intrigued by things that scared me. Not so much monsters in the dark, but the terrors that dwelled inside and I was drawn to working with people who confronted and survived the hurts and monsters of psychological pain. Working psychotherapeutically with people who are struggling with some part of their lives, helping them to see patterns, acknowledge difficult thoughts and feelings and work towards finding relief and bettering their lives is at the heart of my clinical work in my private practice.
Partnering closely with advertising and marketing experts is another area of interest. Using my understanding of psychological development and functioning, I help create developmentally-informed, culturally-relevant marketing and advertising strategies. Projects have included branding and content development for children’s television, iconic American beverages and soups and other consumer products.
Finally, training new generations of clinical practitioners and researchers has been a part of my professional life for a long time and I have been fortunate to have held faculty and supervisory positions at a variety of institutions throughout my career. Most recently, I have founded with my colleagues a small working group of independent school psychologists focused on the unique issues presented by raising and educating children in today’s academic milieu.