Over the years, the following core concepts have crystallized as essential to my work and my understanding of change and transformation:

  • Seeing clients as whole and intact despite areas of limitation or “growing edges”
  • Trusting the innate drive towards wholeness, which includes a belief in the self-regulation of the psyche and the “innate wisdom” within that is always available (the fundamental resiliency of the psyche)
  • Holding an understanding of psyche that allows for the multiplicity of self (the many aspects of self based on our personal life stories as well as the more universal archetypal stories)
  • The healing power of a loving, authentic, attuned relationship to “repair” attachment and honor our innate longing for belongingness
  • The inherent value and necessity of unstructured play and the cultivation of curiosity
  • The necessity for silence and slowing down in an increasingly noisy and accelerated world
  • The healing power of nature and the elements
  • The idea that various avenues for focus and meaningful engagement are open and receptive for transformation at different times along the way 
  • The importance of the union of opposites for healing and nourishing the individuation journey
  • The importance of integrating the shadow
  • The belief that all symptoms are teleological, i.e., purposeful
  • The belief that our unique gifts are exactly what the world needs (inspired by the work of Malidoma Some)
  • The transformative value of the imagination
  • The perspective that virtually all psychiatric imbalances can be understood in terms of too much chaos or too much rigidity (I was delighted to read that Dr. Daniel Siegel offers this perspective in his book The Mindful Brain, as this has been my intuitive point of view as a clinician for many years).

                                                                    ~ Excerpted from my chapter "Out of the Box and into the Wild," in Deep Play (2015) 

EXPRESSIVE ARTS & Creativity Background

Before pursuing my graduate training as a clinical social worker in 1995, I was a professional artist and an art teacher working with children, adolescents, and adults.  I worked in many settings, from large-scale community-based installations to classroom and social service settings. I designed an innovative thematic and project-based art curriculum for grades K-6, incorporating a wide range of media and integrating it with the science and social studies curricula.  Additionally, I designed and directed a theater-based literacy program that used the creative arts to help at-risk youth express the emotional reality of their lives, integrating my creative and educational skills with mental health services. I also sat on The Board of Artmakers while designing and installing large scale community based murals.

In all my endeavors, I approached art and the creative process as vehicles for growth and inner knowing. Working with groups and individuals, I created safe spaces where the creative process supported the unfolding of a more genuine expression of self.


As a psychotherapist, I approach therapy with a similar sensibility. I believe that therapy - when it works well - helps us to manifest a more engaged and meaningful life where our unique contributions become accessible to ourselves and to the people and communities we care about. There are many ways to reach this goal (see the section on "My Orientation").

Supervisor/workshop leader/director

In addition to my private practice, I have designed, launched and supervised a number of programs.  I have been privileged to work with a diverse range of clients who have been my teachers and my inspiration.  Some of these include:

At risk youth, prison inmates, Grandmothers as Mothers Again, teenage moms, college students, survivors of sexual abuse, creatives, spiritual seekers and more ....

Cable TV Producer & Host

In 2001, I helped found, co-produce and co-host Frontiers in Psychotherapy.  From 2001- 2005, Frontiers was broadcast as a weekly show in Brooklyn and Manhattan, focusing on cutting edge psychotherapeutic issues of concern to the lay public and to professionals in the field.  Frontiers produced 40+ TV shows which were also used for training and Continuing Education.  To watch a show on Authentic Movement, click here:


  • Jungian Sandplay Training (8 years postgraduate)
  • Guided Visualizations for Health
  • Process-Oriented Therapy/Dream Work  (2 years)
  • Buddhism and Psychology (multiple trainings and workshops)
  • Expressive Arts (art, psychodrama – multiple trainings and workshops)
  • Mindfulness/Meditation to induce relaxation and reduce activation and arousal from trauma (multiple trainings)
  • Realization Process for Trauma (current)
  • Gestalt Therapy (2 years)
  • Restorative Justice

Workshops for Organizations

  • The Hudson Valley Guild for Mental Health Practitioners
  • The East Coast Sandplay Conference
  • The National PsychoDrama Conference
  • Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
  • The Healing Power of the Imagination Association
  • The Center for Symbolic Studies
  • The Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy
  • One Spirit Interfaith Alliance
  • Pratt Institute
  • Brooklyn Psychoanalytic Institute for Children and Adults


  • Foundations In Spiritual Inquiry:  An 8 week Spiritual Counseling Primer, 2015
  • Spiritually Based Group Work (editor, contributor), 2015
  • Chapter, "Out of the Box and into The Wild," in Deep Play: Exploring The Use of Depth in Psychotherapy.                             Expected Release Date: Spring 2015
  • East Coast Sandplay Journal,  2010-2013
  • The Healing Power of the Imagination Journal,  2014-2015
  • Big Apple Parent, 2004
I had just gone through a painful divorce and I was worried about the effects on my children. My 9 year old daughter was slightly anxious, tearful, and rageful. The hardest part was that she was keeping it all in and not telling me anything that was happening for her. She was quiet in school and wasn’t sure how to advocate for herself. Through her work with Therese, I watched my daughter begin to find her voice and gain strength, power and confidence that I never knew she possessed. The unfolding of this courageous, powerful young girl was the best gift anyone could ever have given to me. Therese lovingly and gently guided my daughter through her darkest and saddest times, giving her the voice she needed to heal and to find her way. I am forever grateful as is my daughter and I continue to refer people to Therese almost weekly! She is truly a gifted clinician and i feel so lucky that we have her in our corner if we ever need to see her again.
— R.S.