Qualifications and Areas of Practice
Heather is an independently licensed clinical social worker with over a decade of experience helping individual clients and couples work towards personalized goals to improve and enhance their sexual communication and pleasure. She brings honed expertise in dealing with specific issues like addiction, trauma, and PTSD caused by sexual assault and abuse. Heather has helped those folks who are dating navigate the challenging discussions around STIs, types of sexual play they are into, and monogamy and consensual non-monogamy. She uses the Sex Esteem® biopsychosocial model to assess how a couple’s stage of development impacts the issue they want to address. Whether it’s a time when a couple are discussing moving in together, have become engaged, adjusting to a new child or have been together for years and are struggling with low libido or lack of sexual connection.
This model also draws on specific experiences from a client’s racial, religious, cultural, economic and familial history to better understand the impact on how they feel about their own sexuality and sexual identity. Heather’s style is warm, connected and she creates a calm but purposeful space in her sessions. At times when she feels it’s helpful and healing she brings humor into a session in order to help a client feel less self-conscious or frustrated with the challenge they’re working on. She prides herself on creating a safe therapeutic environment for clients to realize personal strengths. She is passionate about collaborating with clients in dealing with sexual challenges such as:
- Hyper/compulsive sexual behaviors (Out of Control Sexual Behaviors)
- Low or Absent Desire
- Discrepant Desire (partners wanted different frequency or type of sexuality)
- Recovery from Infidelity, Cheating and Affairs
- Erectile Disorder (ED)
- Sober sex and sexuality
- How to discuss safer sex practices
- Sexual Pain (vaginal, pelvic pain disorders)
- Post labor recovery and adjustment
- Sexual Trauma Recovery (from childhood abuse, sexual assault, rape)
- Premature or Uncontrolled Ejaculation (PE)
- Delayed Ejaculation (DE)
- Stress of Infertility on sexuality
- Social anxiety
- Family of Origin Stressors
- Performance anxiety
- Peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal challenges (pain, absent desire, sense of loss)
- heterosexual individuals and couples
- LGBTQIA identified
- Consensual Non-Monogamous
- Folks from religious backgrounds (Hinduism, Evangelical Christian, Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, Muslim and Catholic)
- clients raised in unique strict upbringings
In addition to these sexual related challenges, Heather treats clients with a wide range of general psychotherapy issues including:
- Panic Disorder
- Anxiety (Generalized and Social)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Grief, Loss and Bereavement
- COVID-19 related anxiety and/or health concerns
Heather earned her Master’s Degree in an accelerated social work program at NYU with a concentration in substance abuse. She has worked with individuals, couples and families for many years helping them achieve a more fulfilling life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Statistics from Boston University.
Heather values Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to help address and change attitudes and actions by focusing on crippling thoughts. She uses Sex Esteem® Sex Therapy interventions in sessions and homework assignments between sessions to help couples continue the progress made in sessions. She values Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to help address and change attitudes and actions by focusing on crippling thoughts.
Heather is an experienced practitioner of the harm reduction model where clients are encouraged to work towards decreasing negative consequences of behaviors like compulsive behaviors, over-drinking, etc. Additionally, she follows a strength based and solution- focused model to assist clients working towards meaningful goals.
Heather is a culturally competent therapist with an interactive, dynamic style ensuring that clients are recognized and understood in the context of the many systems of which they are part. This includes the skills, strengths and insights garnered through their lifetimes in addition to the challenges, inequities and stereotypes faced. She has a collaborative approach to therapy and jointly sets goals for treatment with her clients.
Professional and Community Associations
Heather is an active member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.