Licensed Psychologist – PSY 32839
- Genderful transgender man
- 2nd generation Polish American
I began my journey towards becoming a psychotherapist in January 2009 when I started my MA in clinical psychology with an LGBT Specialization and health psychology concentration at Antioch University Los Angeles. I completed my MFT traineeship at the LA LGBT Center.
I expected to become a cognitive behavioral therapists (CBT) or skill based therapist due my background in the sciences. However, as I was working with clients, I felt like the work was too limited. It reduced people down to behavior rather than the expansiveness that human experience can offer. I was also dealing with a lot of vicarious traumatization as a newly out transgender person as a new therapist. Within a few months of becoming a therapist trainee, I began my own psychoanalysis as a control case for a psychoanalytic candidate. The work transformed my clinical work and my personal life. It inspired me to continue my training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
After graduating, I continued seeing patients as a MFT intern (nowadays they are called associates) at the LA Gender Center. I furthered my skills in working with transgender and nonbinary patients working with some amazing clinicians who have been working with this incredible community for decades.
In addition to my clinical work, I’ve been teaching graduate students in psychology programs about working with LGBTQIA+ clients and psychoanalytic theory since 2011. I’m currently teaching faculty full time at Antioch University Los Angeles in the LGBT Specialization and adjunct faculty at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Cal State University Los Angeles, Alliant International University, and Reiss Davis Graduate School. I teach courses ranging from Psychopharmacology to Clinical Applications of Winnicott’s Thinking to Therapeutic Process with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Clients.
Only having a master’s degree was limiting my career in two ways. First of all, I would never be hired as full time faculty without a doctorate. Secondly, I realized that I was limited in being able to service the transgender community with only an MA as I wouldn’t be able to write letters for all my patients due to WPATH standards nor would I be able to educate future clinicians as a professor without a doctorate. So I “threw away” all my MFT hours and started from scratch towards becoming a licensed psychologist by enrolling in a PsyD program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2013. I completed my doctorate in 2019. I became a licensed psychologist in 2021.
Many of my doctorate courses there focused on psychoanalytic psychotherapy and were taught by psychoanalysts. My dissertation, although quantitative in methodology, was inspired by psychoanalytic ideas; I explored the therapeutic alliance between a cisgender therapist and a transgender patient. In order to further my training, I completed a 1-year certificate in psychoanalytic training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in 2014. I also sought supervision and consultation from psychoanalytic therapists and psychoanalysts. I continue my training through conferences, reading journals and books, and ongoing consultation. I’m also still in multiple days a week psychoanalysis for my personal and professional growth.
In addition, I founded The Affirmative Couch in 2018. The Affirmative Couch provides online continuing education for psychotherapists on working with LGBTQIA+, consensually non-monogamous, and kinky clients and provides organizational development consulting for clinics to become more affirmative.