How Things Began
I jump-started my high school musical theater career by studying Shakespeare and taking voice lessons. My teacher taught me how to breathe. When I’m feeling anxious or out of control, I remind myself to breathe, deeply, down into my diaphragm. When I release it, I’m right back on track.
The big names in TV and film who I met on UCLA’s campus as a senior in high school left me with one essential message: “Don’t major in theater.”
Did you know that experiencing different paths in life actually builds character?
To truly become a method actor, and to be able to walk in anyone’s shoes, it was inevitable that I shift my studies toward psychology.
Willard B. Frick was my mentor in undergrad. “Write in your notebooks what you want more than anything from another person,” he insisted. He shared with us what he wrote: I want to feel understood.
We zipped downtown in his convertible Triumph for pancakes at his favorite joint. Each waitress received a document from his briefcase. He had renewed one’s driver’s licence, completed another’s taxes. I saw the kindness in it, the selfless act, the giving. And his smile.
Over twenty-five years ago, a week into my master’s program, I spoke with someone for three hours instead of the allotted fifty minutes. I felt lost, exhausted, and drained. “You have an issue with boundaries,” diagnosed my internship supervisor, Marie Shaw.
Have you established healthy boundaries in your relationships?
My job was to refrain from saying the things that surfaced in my mind. Sharing the obvious ran the risk of treading on a person’s therapeutic process. Instead, words would suddenly climb out from deep within my kishkes and flow out of my lips. There was always a new shift in perspective, but I wasn’t prepared to take any credit.
I finally got my hands on the world’s best psychology book. I was inspired to fly to the Holy Land.
I spoke with a fellow in a synagogue. “My marriage is over. I’ve tried to save it for ten years, but my wife just won’t take her medication,” he lamented. He was yearning for a new path. At the end of each discussion, he gave me a volume of the Talmud as a token of his appreciation.
I sat down with Rabbi Mendel Farber. I questioned, “I’m not sharing what pops into my mind. Words leave my lips and then things change for people. I see their recognition, awareness, and clarity in those moments. What do you call that?” He answered, “That’s called ‘help from Heaven.’”
We’re all given a purpose, a task to carry out in life.
When individuals and couples feel stuck in life and in their relationships, I offer them a new perspective, utilizing a system dating back thousands of years. Although there are infinite peaks to climb, my job is to help people scale the next one. I invite you to get unstuck, put your best foot forward and actualize your desire to become the person who you truly want to be.
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I’m a clinical psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience in helping others navigate their relationships — with their families and with themselves. I’ve adapted my approach in order to serve clients both online and in person, as well as within the framework of the department of family and social services in the local municipality. With my special blend of mussar, chassidus, and machshavah, I utilize a soul-brewed, person-centered, Torah-driven approach to therapy. I strive to be authentic and transparent in all that I do. I assist people to discover their purpose and find value and meaning in their relationships. My guided process of self-discovery enables people to reach their immediate, short-term goals, while gaining the tools necessary to tackle their goals for the long-term.