Therapy with Rachel
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.
The work can be purely verbal, where you talk about what is on your mind and I am there to listen and ask questions to help you gain information. I can be there to help you look at scenarios and feelings from different angles.
The work can involve music therapy. We can use music listening or active music-making to explore the subconscious material and feelings that you may not be aware of or that are not yet at the surface.
We can use other modalities involving breathing, meditation, art-making, and embodied work to explore your feelings and experiences both from your past and present. We will use verbal processing to talk about what has come up for you within the use of these different mediums.
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
I work psychodynamically and psychoanalytically. This means that I want to help you explore what you are feeling in the present and utilize what you’ve experienced in the past to provide information about how that influences what you are experiencing now and how you are reacting in the present.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
This time is for the client and not about me as the therapist. I will choose to share only things that I feel are important to the work we do together and for the client’s benefit.
How participatory are you during sessions?
I am participatory in the sessions, as opposed to simply being an active listener. I will be working alongside the client in the verbal work as well as in the creative arts work, if the client chooses to use those mediums.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
I do not necessarily assign outside work, unless something arises in session that I feel might help the client outside of the session.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
Our boundaries are different than your relationships with loved ones. We work together within the frame of the session. Our communication and exploration is about you and for you. Our communication outside of the sessions are purely organizational.
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?
Clients of course might reach a point when they no longer need a therapist, or me as their therapist, and can do the work independently. When this topic arises, we will work through it together and discuss the termination process.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I have 10 years of experience working within inpatient psychiatry and continue to work at Mount Sinai Hospital with this population.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I have a 2 year post-graduate training in Vocal Psychotherapy and Depth Psychology. I also have my CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse License). I received my clinical hours for the CASAC while working on a MICA (Mental Illness Chemical Addiction/Abuse) unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
I was first interested in Music Therapy in highschool when I had a friend who worked with a music therapist. I saw how music could allow someone to open up, connect to themselves and others, as well as heal. I, myself, have been in therapy since I was a young teenager, and it has been a sacred place for me to feel safe to talk and express myself.
What is the best part of the work for you?
The best part of the work is having clients come to therapy in a raw acute place and then begin to grow and heal. There are special moments in session when I can see clients gaining insight, connecting the dots for themselves, and utilizing new coping skills while feeling better.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I’m a creative arts therapist and music therapist. I utilize music and the arts to help a client let down their defenses and connect with their emotions and subconscious. Music can bring someone to a feeling much faster than words, as we process emotions in a more primitive area of our brain. Music brings our subconscious to the surface. It takes us to moments, memories, and feelings much quicker than words.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I am here to learn and to assist the client within the context of his/her/their world. I am not here to “know better,” as that is not possible. The client is the focus, and I am here to provide support and assistance in his/her/their exploration of themselves and their world.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
Therapy is a process and it is not always easy, quick, or even pleasant. It takes time and investment. There is not a concrete answer to this. It’s about progress, not a “cure.” Together, we can work on your goals in therapy. There may be some basic objectives that we can work towards as we go, but ultimately, the important questions to consider are: are you finding some relief in your struggles and are you learning more about yourself to increase your adaptive coping skills?
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
Using music and other creative arts allows us to work in the metaphor. Whatever feelings you are experiencing during the session are likely to resonate with feelings that arise in the music; this gives us a platform to talk about and explore those feelings more deeply.
I have been in this field for many years and have a lot of practice picking up on subtle cues, particularly non-verbal ones. I will give you the opportunity to introduce these themes of feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard, but will address them if I feel the time is right.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
You should first decide if you think your therapist is a good match. Try one session and see how it goes. What does your gut tell you? If you feel you can work with this therapist, I would give yourself at least 6 months to work more deeply. Some clients have specific goals that they want to work towards, while others are dealing with less straightforward issues. The decision to continue is ultimately yours. If you do not feel like it is a good fit, you always have the option to terminate, but I would suggest having a termination session as opposed to leaving abruptly.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
There is nothing you need to do besides show up. You only will gain what you are willing to invest, so try to be open to the experience and see where it takes you.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
You do not need to bring anything with you, just yourself!
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept check or venmo and will take payment at the end of your session.
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
My office is in a creative building. There are artists, musicians, and other therapists that work here. The office is next door to Barc animal shelter and very close to a gelato shop.
“As a colleague who has been working with Rachel for over 7 years, I can say with confidence that she is a supportive, compassionate and skilled therapist. Rachel is able to attune to the needs of her clients and offers a safe and containing space for self reflection and growth.”