My studies, my work experience, and my own interest have led me to specialize in working around issues of depression, anxiety, and trauma, and how these issues affect our relationships, our careers, our identity. I have been fortunate to work with these issues with a broad range of clients, and in so doing have developed secondary specialty working with the following populations:
Growing up overseas in Lebanon and Iran, I know what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land. I have exhilarated in the adventure of learning new languages and new cultures but also seen the effects of war and trauma and known the stress of being parted from family and loved ones, the necessity of creating a support system in a new country, the reality of culture shock.
Members of the international community can feel isolated. This isolation can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, or can compound existing issues and lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.
Over the past several years I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with individuals from India, Lebanon, Russia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Central and South America.
I split my time between my psychotherapy office and my studio, where I throw pots for local restaurants and galleries. I have been very interested in how, for me, the path of creation and imagination in the studio complements my work as a therapist. In his book Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore writes, “I understand therapy as nothing more than bringing imagination to areas that are devoid of it…” I greatly enjoy tapping into my clients’ innate creativity to bring imaginative, workable solutions to the issues that arise for them.
While I enjoy working with a wide variety of age groups, many of my clients are adults just out of college, working in internships or in their first jobs here in DC. Most of them have left friends and family to move here, and many experience some level of anxiety and sometimes depression along side the excitement of being out on their own, creating their life, building relationships and developing community. Therapy at this time can be particularly useful – it’s a great time to learn new ways of relating to others, to deal with old patterns that you’ve outgrown, and to begin to create the life that you want to live.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community
Members of the LGBT community can live a paradoxical life. On the one hand, life can seem full and vibrant. Closet doors are open, and the world awaits! Certainly, looking through the eyes of popular culture, we might believe that every LGBT person is young, glamorous, and leading exciting lives. But it’s not always like that. Being gay is complex, fraught with questions about intimacy, aloneness, identity, and community. The pre-conceptions that are prevalent in our society manifest in the attitudes of all individuals, even within the LGBT community itself. Exploring these often subtle attitudes, their origins and their validity in a non-judgmental environment can allow individuals to bring positive constructive changes on many levels of their life.
The Direct Service Community
Working in direct service can be highly rewarding — it can also be extremely challenging! Those involved in direct services often have to deal with the personal anguish of the many unmet needs that remain, the experience of the many ways others are suffering, guilt for one’s own privileges, or the financial struggles often associated with direct service work. To be more available to those we serve and to serve them skillfully and effectively, we must continue to process our own experiences and the challenges that we face as a result of our passionate work