Therapy with Lucas
From your perspective, what is therapy?
Therapy is a chance for us to explore more about ourselves, in a safe and supportive environment. It’s an opportunity to develop a fresh outlook on life, the inner self, and our relationships with others in order to broaden our awareness like never before. It also helps us understand the narrative we have about ourselves and where that might come from. Through exploration of our personal story, we can uncover unconscious patterns and work through them in order to develop flourishing relationships and a more satisfying life.
Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.
A recent client described his nervousness and fear about moving to a different state. The client said: “I know everything will probably work out because I have everything lined up, but I feel this fear that it will all go wrong.” After asking about his experience moving to the state he currently lives in, he said, “I really struggled in the beginning because I was in a relationship where I was always on edge and afraid.” My response: “Is there a possibility that the fear you describe about moving may be rooted in the fear you experienced when you moved in the past?”
I recently saw a gay couple that wanted to explore miscommunication. One partner said: “He never asks how I feel, so I don’t feel seen or understood.” The other partner explained: “When we have a conversation, he gets loud, which makes me feel yelled at.” My response: “So you both seem to be experiencing a cycle of miscommunication where your needs aren’t being met. How can we use preventative language, like checking in periodically, to minimize conflict?”
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
My work is based in empowerment, social justice, and collaboration. I believe that together we can explore your life in an effort to develop a more wholesome you. To help you take back control of your life and flourish in your relationships, work, and personal life.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I share things about myself when it is relevant to the work and helps guide sessions. Healing is often a large part of the work you do in therapy, so sometimes sharing things about myself, such as the feelings that come up for me or a shared experience, can often promote that healing.
How participatory are you during sessions?
My sessions are often described as active and collaborative in which we explore your life together.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
Although I may sometimes recommend a book, video, mindfulness activity, etc., the “homework” I usually offer is that clients reflect on the things we discuss, which can often provide insight in between sessions. Sometimes, depending on the need of the client, specific tasks can be useful.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
Friends and loved ones can often be biased to your situation. So therapy is a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, your past, your relationship with the world, and how to better manage things that come your way. Therapy is much more than letting things out, which we all do with friends and loved ones; it's about deep exploration and creating meaningful change.
Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it’s time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?
Some people like to leave therapy after reaching the goals they came in with. Others prefer to continue long-term therapy so they can process things as they come, checking in each week. It ultimately depends on your needs.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
In addition to working in private practice, I also work part time at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in their Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality division, which provides psychotherapy to clients in the LGBTQIA+ community.
I have also worked at the Baruch College Counseling Center, providing psychotherapy to diverse clients as they experienced acculturation/immigration issues, anxiety, depression, parenting stress, academic stress, and more.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I received my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from New York University and continued my field training at Baruch College Counseling Center. I am currently training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy in their three-year LGBT+ Certificate program.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
Through my childhood experiences and my own therapy, I was able to gain clarity into what life can look like, despite the difficulties we often face. And I always felt a calling to listen to others and practice patience as my loved ones navigated tough situations. So from my experiences and passion for helping, I wanted to do more and help others rediscover their potential and create meaning in their life.
What is the best part of the work for you?
Seeing individuals remember the things that bring them joy. It changes the air in the room and I can visibly see them become lighter, which is an honor to be a part of.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I offer a more fluid but direct approach and focus on the relational aspect of therapy, that we are human beings sitting together. Some therapists can be more rigid and unapproachable so I try my best to provide a warmer, direct, and more active approach.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
By asking questions often and trying my best to minimize assumptions. I try to be mindful that everyone's experience is unique and my goal is to try to step into their world. So I am very upfront about multicultural issues and continuously ask if I am missing the mark.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
I keep myself mindful of any changes in their experiences in and outside of therapy. I remain present if in one week they experience heartbreak, or any life difficulty, and in another week they are feeling more assertive or compassionate toward themselves. By being aware of these changes, we are able to do more of the difficult work, which shows me that our work together is moving.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
Sometimes clients will repeat similar things each week and verbalize feelings of being stuck, unseen, or unheard. When this happens, I get the sense that they are wanting more, either from therapy, from life, or both. And so, I like to check in from time to time that we're still on the agreed upon path.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
Assuming we are a good fit, most clients commit to at least 3 months of therapy. At that point, some choose to stay for more long-term insight oriented work, while others who have achieved their goals take a break. It ultimately depends on your needs/wants and the kind of issues you are seeking therapy for.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
Nothing really to prepare, just having an open mind is preparation enough. If you’d like to prepare in some way, reflect on what brings you to therapy.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
Depending on your appointment time, you may be commuting during rush hour. My office is also located near major subway stations (23rd St, 14th St Union Sq, 34th St), which can become very busy during rush hour. So please be mindful of potential train delays, traffic, etc.