Erica H. Epstein, M.S., M.A.
Passionate and Experienced Clinician Who Meets her Clients Where They Are At In A Non-Judgmental Manner
I am Erica Epstein…and I, like you, fulfill and play a myriad of roles in our daily lives:
Regardless of the role I am fulfilling at any given moment on any given day/hour, I do it with skill and dedication. However, just because we all play different roles, doesn’t necessarily mean that we have found our calling in life – our purpose – our life’s passion.
It took me many years and experiences to reach this time in my life when I was ready and able to focus all of my energies on my true passion, calling and destiny: providing marriage and family therapy services to help others achieve meaningful change, understanding, perspective and coping skills to face challenges facing them.
How Did I Become The Person I Am Today?
I hold two Masters Degrees: one in Marriage and Family Therapy and the other in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. I began my professional career helping others as a teacher in the New York City Public School system, where I taught for about 12 years. When my husband and I chose to relocate to South Florida, I operated and was the full-time Director of a large pre-school in West Palm Beach – where I had the privilege and honor to work with a diverse group of professional educators and children. During this time, I continued my focus on helping mothers, fathers and families with various aspects of raising and educating their children, and dealing with the myriad of life’s challenges, such as economics, ethnicity, financial, substance use/abuse, intimate-partner violence, and other serious difficulties.
After more than 20 years working with children and families, I decided to focus my energy and follow my passion to formally help individuals, couples and families with their relationships and mental health needs and went back to earn my second advanced degree. I have always had my heart set on providing marriage and family therapy services to individuals, families, and couples who are encountering challenges and difficulties along their life’s journey. My search for personal fulfillment required me to peel away multiple layers of my personality to expose my core and truly understand who I am as a person, and in what ways I can be of assistance to others. As part of my introspection, I thought about my life, my experiences, and how I viewed the world. My most enlightening reflection and understanding came when I honestly thought about the hand I have been dealt from a new and reframed perspective; a perspective that is admittedly difficult to achieve and embrace.
I Am The Mother and Caregiver of a Developmentally-Disabled Daughter With Medical Issues
I have been caring for my teenage daughter who has been developmentally-disabled since birth, and suffers from intractable Epilepsy. During this journey, I have experienced many times when family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintences never really understood nor related to what I was feeling and experiencing. No one just “got it” and inherently understood just how much emotional turmoil and pain I was experiencing on a daily basis as a mother of a sick child. Through much self-exploration and professional assistance, I committed myself to taking back control over my life. I enrolled at Nova Southeastern University in its Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Ideally, I wanted to study how people evolve in their relationships once life presents them with a heavy load that can often times simply be unmanageable. I am committed to fulfilling my dream of helping others become who they truly set out to be, but may have encountered some unexpected twists and turns along the way. I am committed to working with families and typical siblings as they try to figure out how to merge the “typical” with the “atypical.” Together we can overcome life’s challenges, regardless of their etiology.
I focus on supporting self-efficacy in my clients, and I want to share my expertise and knowledge that has helped carry me through those dark times that often aren’t spoken about or brushed aside. The very essence of exposing those feelings is what I engage clients to do. Being able to uncover the fluid social constructs or stories that are subject to re-vision; being able to have the ability to re-author one’s story to serve them suitably can itself create greater purpose and meaning. I want everyone to realize their potential and see the good, bad, and everything in-between. Together, we can collaborate to understand and respect your reality and story, as I believe the client is the real expert in their own life.
My approach utilizes a systemic viewpoint which analyzes how an individual’s behavior makes sense in context to their reality, and how its impacted by relationships – which can be an impediment to change. I appreciate the importance of a strong alliance between myself and my client. I pledge to bring empathy, warmth, and respect to our relationship. Each of us has a story to tell – based upon the life we have led and the experiences we have encountered. How we interpret these stories impacts our behaviors and views of the world and others. I will be honored if you allow me to work with you in uncovering your life’s stories and helping you to understand and interpret them in new, exciting and freeing ways.
I firmly believe that safety, security and trust is essential to an effective clinician-client relationship. My approach is a combination of reflective listening with purposeful action. If you are having difficulty or are experiencing challenges in your individual life or interpersonal relationships, I will work with you towards a goal of redefining and relabeling symptoms and conclusions that are functioning like weights around your ankles holding you back from discovering your true destiny. I have experienced similar struggles along my self-discovery journey, and understand that exploring these issues is necessary to start the healing process. Give yourself permission to live free of limitations.
Questions I investigate with my clients range from:
- Are we on the same page regarding the goals of therapy services?
- Have I engaged and motivated you in your therapy journey?
- Are you committed to doing therapeutic work outside of the therapy session?
- Have I been able to instill hope?
- How do you feel about the process of therapy coming full circle from start to finish?
- Have we established rapport to allow fluidity in change?
Allow me to navigate your journey in life so that you can be a better version of yourself.
Erica is a Florida Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern License #IMT 2785 providing marriage and family therapy services, practicing in association with Sofia Robirosa, LMFT, License #MT 2844. I am also a Certified Family Trauma Professional.