Background & Training
Both as an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied literature; I quickly learned to appreciate the deeper significance of the stories that people were telling, to be wholly attentive to their psychological, symbolic, poetic and spiritual dimensions. Themes inevitably emerged in illuminating ways. Teaching creative writing and composition at the college level, I soon realized just how intimately I was engaged in meaning-making with my students and just what a privilege that was.
My dual professional degrees were earned from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and integrated advanced clinical practice with psychiatry and religion. I later finished postgraduate training at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) Center for Spirituality & Psychotherapy and completed a basic unit of chaplaincy at a Quaker hospital in Philadelphia. In 2006, I was ordained into ministry by The Community Church of New York. For a few years, I also worked as an NIP Affiliate Clinician, working with trauma survivors enrolled in its Trauma Treatment Program.
In 2015, I was named Managing Director of the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute (PSI), a New York non-profit organization that maintains four counseling centers in Manhattan. In 2013, I joined the adjunct faculty at Columbia University Teachers College and began teaching graduate students in its innovative Spirituality Mind Body Institute. From 2011-2013, I worked at Union Theological Seminary as its Pastoral Counselor, and from 2009-2011, I acted as a Director of Pastoral Care & Counseling Programs at the Blanton-Peale Institute, where I taught and supervised its Advanced students in the English-language training programs. At the end of my tenure there, I was awarded a doctoral degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling Psychology from the Graduate Theological Foundation, having researched some contemporary applications of logotherapy. Additionally, I have served as Curriculum Co-Chair for the clinical continuing education program offered by the Association for Spirituality & Psychotherapy at NIP.
As my schedule allows, I am available to lead both educational seminars and professional workshops. Since 2006, I have been a mental health consultant, guest preacher, and religious educator in the New York area at large, working with a variety of faith groups. I offer psychoeducational programming and encourage the use of religious resources in promoting wellness, resilience, and optimal mental health.
An anthologized essayist and book critic, I have written for Slate, Beliefnet, The Washington Post Book World, Time Out-New York, and the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. I read widely and eclectically; I am always glad to engage in bibliotherapy with clients who are curious about certain subjects. Throughout my career, I have been fascinated by sacred story and narrative knowing; even today, I continue to explore their many therapeutic, educative, and spiritual implications.