I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for over 32 years, graduating from a school of social welfare . I hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I am married and have two grown Children. I currently work in an urban Community Mental Health setting helping people with mental health issues,(diagnosed with Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Personality disorders)as well as issues with major life stressors and relationship issues. I am the Assistant Director supervising 13 clinicians, and I have a caseload myself. Prior to being promoted in 2000 I was a full time therapist. I also have experience working at the local Correctional Facility, and at our County Social Services Department. I have dealt with all kinds of people and a variety of issues.
I am open minded and do not judge people for their actions, believing respect for everyone is very important no matter what their background or current circumstances. I also believe in the safety of the therapeutic relationship, allowing people to experience their feelings without judgments or fear of ridicule.
Grief and loss are common issues, along with depression, anxiety, vocational issues, stress and especially relationship issues( which can cause distress). I also try to motivate people to be healthy, reach out to people and feel better about themselves. I have some experience with addictions and how they get in the way of people reaching their goals. I have an eclectic approach using, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which can include homework that works to examine and change thoughts and feelings), Person Centered , Problem Solving a supportive Therapy and mindfulness. My approach is supportive and I start where the person is. I work hard to create a safe environment where people can feel free to express themselves. I am also accessible, allowing daily contact when needed or wanted.
I have also been trained on helping people with smoking cessation. Therapy along with working with a prescriber for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be very effective for quitting.
I do operate from a strength based position. I am going to help highlight what is going well and build on that. Many people don't realize they have strengths or what things are going well. I also like to set small goals that lead to bigger changes. I like to use work sheets and homework as appropriate. You are always part of this decision making process as this is your treatment.
I know it can be hard to reach out for help, but making positive changes in your life can only help. I want you to reach the goals you set for yourself. I look forward to helping you through this process. Please also note, I may respond daily, but on occasion, I may not answer until the next day. It does not mean I do not want contact with you, it means I am thinking about the appropriate answer to your question/issue. one last thing. If at any point you feel that you no longer need/want services or will be unable to continue, please don't hesitate to let me know ahead of time so that we can bring things to a close when we need to.
Please talk to me about your particular issue before you decide if I have the experience you are looking for. Welcome and I look forward to working together!
**NOTE: I do not provide letters for Social Security, Therapy animals, Court, Motor Vehicles, employment, references or other types of letters. so if you are seeking treatment/therapy/counseling for those reasons, please seek out another counselor****
Additional areas of focus: Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Career difficulties, Abandonment, Attachment Issues, Communication Problems, Control Issues, Family of Origin Issues, Family Problems, Fertility Issues, Guilt and Shame, Isolation / Loneliness, Life Purpose, Money and Financial Issues, Mood Disorders, Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks, Paranoia, Personality Disorders, Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Self-Harm, Smoking/Vaping Cessation, Social Anxiety and Phobia, Workplace Issues
Clinical approaches: Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Therapy
CO LCSW csw09928974
UT LCSW 11952128-3501
CT LCSW 11520
NY LCSW R041470
Been away for a while and was lucky enough to have a spot with Risa again. She understands my specific situation & really helped me find my self esteem again.
Written on Mar 07, 2023 after therapy with Risa for 5 years and 9 months on issues concerning family conflicts, trauma and abuse, grief, and self esteem
She’s best so caring and gives me great feedback
Written on Jan 30, 2023 after therapy with Risa for 7 years
One of my favourite things about Risa is that no matter what my struggles are or how long I'm working on an issue and not succeeding/moving backwards, she has NEVER judged me for it. I know I can confide in her about anything and everything. She has also taken time to learn about or find resources related to specifically what I'm dealing with to help me work through things.
Written on Jan 21, 2023 after therapy with Risa for 6 years and 8 months
She is patient with me and my flaws
Written on Nov 14, 2022 after therapy with Risa for 6 years and 6 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, self esteem, career difficulties, and depression
I feel safe and happy when I talk to Risa
Written on Aug 31, 2022 after therapy with Risa for 3 years and 11 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, and career difficulties
Risa has a magical ability to match your speed and tenor-- Weeks when I want to stay surface, I do. But when I want to go to my molten heart, she's right there to put me back together again.
Written on Jun 07, 2021 after therapy with Risa for 3 years and 10 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, lgbt, relationship issues, intimacy-related issues, anger management, career difficulties, and depression