Many years ago I was sharing my life with someone, yet longing to feel seen, known and understood. Dealing with the day to day messiness of sharing a life, the endless ‘to dos’, the demands from all directions. Suddenly we just felt like bickering roommates. When did we stop prioritizing our relationship? Do you see me? Do you appreciate me? Do you know me? Do I even know myself?
I know how lonely it can feel to be in a relationship with someone who is physically close but emotionally feels a million miles away.
These days, my life looks very different. I am married to someone who prioritizes our emotional connection as much as I do. We have two children. Life is messy and imperfect, but I know and feel that we are in it together - and that makes all the difference.
Back then, I was a very different woman in a very different kind of relationship. Through a long process of increased self-awareness and healing, I came to realize that I first had to work on my relationship with myself.
I had spent years striving- doing the next thing that was expected of me. As an immigrant, feeling the extra pressure to be one of those “good” immigrants who deserve to be here. Believing the stories that my worthiness was based on my accomplishments- grades, praise, awards. I graduated from college. Then went on to grad school, then got engaged, then planned a fairytale wedding- I did everything “right”, checked all the boxes.
It all looked really good on paper. But it didn’t actually feel good living it every day, and I found myself deeply unfulfilled. At an age where the next expected thing was to have a baby, even though I longed to become a mother one day, it just didn’t feel right.
We tried to make it work, but arguments quickly escalated and emotional debris built up endlessly. There was no space for repair and things just festered, with no path for true reconnection. Eventually I walked away from my “good on paper” life. Quit the safe government job and ended the lonely and disconnected relationship.
I walked toward my own path, stepped away from being a “good girl” and did my work to become a real woman. I pursued attachment-based therapy training (if you are into those details- click here for all that info), deepened my yoga and meditation practice, read and explored spirituality and the work of authors that deeply resonated with me like Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, and Elizabeth Gilbert. I stopped believing the stories that my worthiness was based on my accomplishments, outward measures of success, and other people’s expectations and opinions.
Through the years I have learned that your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship in your life. I learned to find my voice, to set boundaries, and to have the courage to be vulnerable and ask for what I need.
Eventually I met the man who became my husband. This year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary. This time I went into it with my eyes wide open and with a mutual willingness to do our inner work. With an acknowledgment and acceptance that we each have our triggers- our emotional wounds that pre-date our relationship- but that still have the power to hijack us if we don’t remain intentional and grounded. During times of disharmony we know how to repair before things escalate, and we are held by a secure foundation.
If I could go back in time I would tell my younger self that there are two essential spaces that need to be intentionally cultivated in order to create the life I want: one is a sacred safe space between me and my partner; and the other is a sacred safe space inside myself- a place that I can always come back to where I hold myself with unconditional love, compassion and warmth, through any storm.
I have a sincere desire to bring more light and kindness into the world. This fuels my activism and social justice work. Change starts with each of us. More than ever, we need our homes and our own hearts to be our safe havens. It is essential that we feel held, secure and loved at home. I am passionate about this work and bring my whole self in my work with clients. I want your relationship to become a source of comfort, safety, connection and mutual appreciation. I can help you co-create this with your partner.
Master in Social Work- University of Maryland, Baltimore
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Spanish Translation)- University of Maryland, College Park
Foundations in Family Therapy and Live Clinical Supervision
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
AEDP Immersion Course with Diana Fosha, PhD.
AEDP Essential Skills training I and II- AEDP Institute
AEDP for Couples Hybrid Course: Immersion and Essential Skills training
AEDP for Couples Core Skills group
Ongoing AEDP for Couples individual supervision
I am currently a Level III AEDP Therapist
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT):
EFT Externship with Sue Johnson, PhD, and George Faller, LMFT- NYC
EFT Core Skills Advanced Training, at the Washington Baltimore Center for EFT
Advanced Trauma Treatment Certification (The Ferentz Institute)
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, senior clinician at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program
Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, senior clinician in the Psychiatry Department, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program