I’m a DC native, but got my professional start in NYC. After earning a masters degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1989, I worked for five years as a psychotherapist in a community mental clinic in Brooklyn. During those years I also opened my first private practice– on Manhattan’s Upper West Side– and completed an intensive 4-year training program in psychodynamic child, adolescent, and family therapy.
In 1995 I returned with my (then young) family to DC, opened the practice that has grown through several iterations into its current form, and completed a 5-year training program in psychodynamic individual and couple therapy.
These days my clinical practice includes psychotherapy with individuals, couples, and families, parent guidance, play therapy (for children as young as 3), and therapy for older children and adolescents.
About 10 years into my practice (so over 20 years ago!), I began to accrue experience and expertise in separation and divorce– an area of longstanding personal and professional interest. I have trained as a parenting coordinator, family mediator, custody evaluator, divorce consultant, Collaborative Divorce Coach, and Collaborative Divorce Child Specialist. I regularly work alongside many talented family law attorneys, other mental health professionals and financial professionals whom I am fortunate to call my close friends and colleagues. The foundational principles of collaboration– a win/win vs. an adversarial approach, a client-driven vs. attorney-driven process, transparency, child-focus, attention to the emotional needs of all concerned, staying out of court whenever possible–these now inform all the divorce work I do.
Many potential psychotherapy clients reasonably ask if my expertise in divorce makes me less effective as a therapist for couples who want to stay together. They wonder if I might give up on their union too quickly, or, if one of them wants to leave and the other wants to stay together, if I’ll put my thumb on the scale in a problematic way. Here’s how I answer: I’m not pro-divorce. I’m not even blase about it or inured to its impact on families and children. I believe a struggling couple owes it to each other and (if they have them) to their children to work together, in couple therapy if necessary, to try to get their relationship back on track. But if divorce becomes inevitable, I can help an individual or couple in a number of ways- perhaps to develop a roadmap of next steps, to decide when and how to talk to their kids, to find their best legal process option, to craft a parenting plan (custody agreement) that minimizes conflict and protects their children, or to find the emotional support they need.
Under the “Services” tab on my homepage you’ll find more information about the ways I work- both in psychotherapy and in the field of divorce- and a full explanation of the range of options I offer in both parts of my practice. More questions? Feel free to email or call; together we can decide where to go from there.