When we completed our Schema Therapy training in NY/NJ, my classmates and I wanted to stay in touch and formed a WhatsApp group. We called ourselves “The Magnificent 12.” I was so struck that this group of therapists from around the world could be so warm and supportive with each other so quickly. “There must be something about schema therapy that draws people like us together,” I concluded. It is an honor for me to accept the nomination for Board Secretary and, if elected, I will carry with me into the role that same spirit of warmth, openness, kindness, curiosity and mutual aid.
I expect my prior experience as a department director of community organizing for a New York City non-profit would be helpful in the Secretary position. My duties included liaising with local and state government officials, fundraising and grant writing, and designing programs and training curricula, managing community events, and keeping a staff motivated and inspired. Community organizing is all about effective outreach and engagement, building membership and commitment, and a profound respect for what some would consider the mundane: good coordination and organizational skills and a healthy respect for Roberts Rules of Order.
Originally from Chicago, where I worked as a case manager and clinical interpreter for survivors of torture and war trauma from francophone African countries, I did my clinical training in New York City just after 9/11, which included an externship with the Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture and internship with the Veterans Administration. I did post-graduate training in psychoanalysis and had a 10-year analysis myself. After a few years of private practice, I realized I wanted to expand my clinical horizons and began training in CBT and treatment of complex trauma. Working with personality disorders became a fascination, which is what led me to schema therapy. I read one article on ST and was hooked. Currently, aside from clinical work as an online schema therapist in private practice in San Diego, I am passionate about translating schema therapy theory and experience into writing for a popular audience. I write a blog on schema therapy for Psychology Today called “Flipping Out: Changing Mindsets with Schema Therapy”, and have published previously in The New York Times, Salon, and Psych Central.
I am excited by the prospect of playing a supporting role in the governance of the ISST, particularly in this moment in global history. We face a time of massive upheaval and traumatic change involving our current political and economic strife, the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate catastrophe. We may indeed “live in interesting times” and the threats and opportunities to the profession of psychotherapy are compelling and urgent, particularly in areas of technology, international jurisdiction, and the mental health crisis of COVID. I’m hopeful that the silver lining of the pandemic will be creative new options for doing online individual and group therapy, broadening access to conferences, trainings and supervision, and deepening member support from the Society. I can’t wait to see how we schema therapists continue to rise to the occasion, and I’m asking for your vote.
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