My calling to the social work profession started with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. During my college years and afterward, I worked with inner city teenage girls in a supportive group home in Massachusetts, which was an amazing experience. It would be an understatement to say that I learned a lot about human behavior there, and I also learned a lot about myself in the process. It was deeply fulfilling work.
I’ve read that over the course of a lifetime many people pursue several different career paths. This is certainly true for me. After several years as a caseworker I decided to explore other areas that were of interest to me, and I began my second career working in the business sector. I lived and worked in New York City and loved it. Although I was working in a completely different field, I still found myself in a helping and supporting role to the people around me. Even then I was fulfilling a calling. I enjoyed the fast paced work and learned a lot about running a business. However, after watching the events of the first bombing of the World Trade Center from my office across the street, I decided it was time to return to my passion.
I attended graduate school and became a licensed social worker in New York State in 2005, practicing cognitive behavior counseling strategies in a substance abuse and mental health clinic in Nassau County. It was during this time that I received certification as a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. During my many years there, I saw clients individually and ran therapeutic and psycho-educational groups for people in recovery. In 2012, I moved into private practice in Mattituck, where I currently work with individuals whose lives may be affected by their own overuse of alcohol or impacted by overuse by someone else.
My biggest take away from my professional experiences is that every person has a unique story and personal experience. We all deserve compassion and a specialized approach to therapy as we learn to navigate personal issues. It has always been—and continues to be—a privilege to be part of another person’s journey of growth, healing, discovery and increased self-awareness.